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BEST to procure 300 new electric buses and hire women drivers for the services

Currently, women operate suburban local trains, Metros, autorickshaws along with taxis in Mumbai. The only means of transport in Mumbai that does not have female drivers is BEST.

BEST to procure 300 new electric buses and hire women drivers for the services
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The department of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) has decided to hire women drivers for the electric buses it intends to add to its flock in the next six months. On Wednesday, the BEST committee, which manages the governance of the transport and electricity distribution wing of BMC, approved a proposal to procure 300 new electric buses for the city and hire women drivers to run some of these buses as per a Central policy.

Currently, women operate suburban local trains, Metros, auto rickshaws and taxis in Mumbai. The only means of transport in Mumbai that does not have female drivers is BEST. Even the State Transport (ST) corporation run Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) services have women drivers for some buses.

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Earlier, the transport wing had decided to induct 450 electric buses, of which, they have already procured 34 vehicles for its fleet. Now, BEST will gain 300 buses on a wet-lease basis, under which the drivers along with the vehicles will be hired from private contractors.

"Under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) policy guidelines, we have to give preference to women drivers to run these 300 electric buses,” a BEST official told Hindustan Times.

As a part of its women’s empowerment programme last year, BEST had hired six women conductors, but they were shifted to different departments on their own request. With this move, it is expected that the buses with women drivers will start running on Mumbai roads within the next six months.

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