Why BEST's Coin-Swapping Game Is A Masterstroke

Looking at the ever-increasing coins and ₹10-₹20 notes after the revised fare prices came in effect, BEST Corporation had launched a program asking people to bring notes to swap for coins and notes of smaller denominations

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A few years back, cab aggregators Ola and Uber tapped into the transport market in Mumbai and became a competitor for the public transport in the city. The online transport service resulted in a decrease in the demand of auto-rickshaws and taxis but the most affected was the debt-ridden Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST). The entry of the competitors drastically brought down the number of passengers using the bus service.

After which, in order to tackle the sudden loss of ridership, the BEST Corporation this year slashed down its fare prices to a bare minimum of ₹5 for non-AC bus whereas ₹6 for AC bus journey. After which, the service began regaining passengers who preferred public transport instead of other means.

However, the immense response from public flipped the coin for the bus corporation and resulted in a collection of heavy amount of coins and ₹10-₹20 notes. Therefore, BEST invited people to exchange the notes of the higher denomination for the coins and ₹10-₹20 notes.

Just within four months of the introduction of revised fare prices, BEST experienced tremendous growth in its daily ridership. Owing to which, BEST decided to introduce 400 Midi, mini AC buses to avoid more crowded buses and increase its number of journeys. Out of which, currently, six mini Ac buses are running on Mumbai roads.

In the meantime, a BEST official said that the initiative to swap coins for notes was launched after they began collecting coins worth ₹10-₹20 lakh every day. Accordingly, people with high denomination currency can exchange their money at any of its 27 bus depots between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm. The service only remains closed on Sundays and public holidays.

As a result, the move from the bus corporation has received a very good response. Confirming the same, a BEST official said, "We are swapping around ₹2.5 lakh through this initiative."

Meanwhile, the official added that the initiative is set to get a better response once the word about the program gets out.

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