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Mumbai 24X7: BEST to run buses round the clock?

According to a senior BEST official, the corporation is planning to dispatch AC Mini buses midnight onwards to avail transport services for the citizens round the clock

Mumbai 24X7: BEST to run buses round the clock?
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The Mumbai 24x7 which was Maharashtra Tourism Minister, Aditya Thackeray pet project has finally come to life. Various eateries, shops, and malls now have the option to stay open 24x7. However, there were concerns raised by opposition leaders as well as various citizens that this project will not get the kind of success given that there is limited public transport available at night.

It now seems that this issue too will be addressed soon as the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Corporation has shown eagerness to keep its buses running 24x7. If all goes well, Mumbai streets will soon have BEST buses running on the road, all week.

According to a senior BEST official, the corporation is planning to dispatch AC Mini buses midnight onwards to avail transport services for the citizens round the clock. However, the official also said that they will chalk out all the plans initially and prepare a report. Based on the report, they will take a final call on the introduction of service.

Currently, BEST non-AC runs with a minimum fare of ₹5 whereas the minimum fare for AC buses is ₹6. After the fare prices were slashed by BEST Corporation, the bus service witnessed an increase of 15 lakh passengers in its daily ridership.

Prior to the change in prices, BEST has a daily ridership of 19 lakh which has jumped to 34 lakh currently. However, the transport wing's income has witnessed a minor decline. Therefore, BEST is emphasising on expanding its services to meet with the issue.

Currently, no local trains are available in Mumbai after 2:00 am whereas the BEST bus service is also unavailable after 1:00-1:30 am. The citizens have to opt for autorickshaws, taxis and cabs which too are available in limited numbers.

Therefore, in order to boost their revenue and occupancy, BEST will reportedly run buses till 2:00 am on a trial basis. If they receive the expected response, BEST will extend the timings till 6:00 am.

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