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BEST rules out fare hike; budget for 2021-22 approved

As the BEST has its budget approved by the Shiv Sena-led committee, it has stated that there will be no foreseeable bus fare hike till March 2022.

BEST rules out fare hike; budget for 2021-22 approved
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The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) has stated that there will be no foreseeable bus fare hike till March 2022.

Earlier on Friday, November 20, BEST's budget for 2021-22 was approved by a Shiv Sena-led committee which also cleared 2,500 new buses for the city of Mumbai and an online portal for rooftop solar projects.

Meanwhile, the number of passengers travelling by the BEST buses have reached 23,00,000. Before the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the buses would ferry close to 30,00,000 passengers. Therefore, to increase the number of passengers, the BEST has decided to not increase any fares this year.

Prior to the lockdown, on March 9, 2020, BEST had 30,88,834 passengers. On March 16, it came down to 28,00,000. The lockdown initially reduced the number of passengers. However, on November 20, 22,47,542 passengers travelled by BEST buses.

Meanwhile, officials had earlier stated that the number of passengers travelling by BEST buses increased in the months of June-November 2020. A total of eight lakh passengers travelled in June 2020, and this increase to nine lakh in July, ten lakh in August and 18 lakh in September and 21 lakh in October, and approximately 23 lakh until now, in November.

On the other hand, as per reports, the transport department has incurred a deficit of ₹1,624.24 crores. BEST's transportation division has been at a loss for the past several years. As a result, several suggestions were made by the Shiv Sena, Congress and BJP members to benefit BEST. However, this time, some members pointed out that the reduction in BEST's fares has reduced the income.

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