After closing its AC bus service after going through the financial crisis, the BEST undertaking of the BMC has been mulling to start AC minibuses having 20-22 seats. This minibus service may benefit BEST as it would not have any conductor on board as well as it would be easily driven on narrow roads and in heavy traffic.
As per BEST officials, the proposals have been forwarded to the concerned authorities to change some loss-making routes of buses and cancellation of some other routes. The plying of air-conditioned buses, which were considered as white elephants of the loss-making BEST undertaking, was stopped. Instead of big buses, the BEST has now planned to ply air-conditioned minibuses on city roads. Such mini AC buses are being currently piled in Noida with good response from the commuters. These minibuses do not require conductors. Senior BEST officers are thinking of buying 50 such minibuses in the initial phase.
Meanwhile, BEST management has sought financial help of Rs 64 crore after it bought and inducted 100 new buses in its fleet. The BMC is going to pay the amount as it had made a provision of Rs 100 crore last year for the purchase of 300 buses. The proposal has been forwarded to the BMC Standing Committee by the BEST management.