MUMBAI: After hiking fares for diverted bus routes in Andheri area due to the Metro Rail project, the BEST now plans to implement this formula across the city.
This means that if there are any new bus diversions due to ongoing infrastructure projects (mainly Metro or Mono Rail), then the bus fares will be hiked for commuters accessing the diverted route. “This will be done only if the diverted routes become permanent and there is no way avoiding it,” said BEST general manager Om Prakash Gupta.
“We will charge commuters mainly for the distance covered. If there is an increase in distance, the slabs will increase and we will charge them more for extra distance covered. This is legal and we have approvals from the BEST Committee,” he pointed out.
Dharmesh Shah, a bus commuter, said it was a big shocker that the BEST now wanted to implement this rule at all places — from Colaba to Dahisar/ Mulund and Mankhurd. “So, wherever there is infrastructure work, the local commuters will have to bear the brunt. This is unacceptable,” he stated. The BEST is presently studying if there are any more diverted routes in city which will remain unchanged.
Said Gupta, “It is a simple rule –if the distance travelled increases and the passenger falls in a higher slab, he or she will have to pay more.” Another BEST official said that the transport body did not charge passengers a single paise for past four years when the Metro work was being carried out at Andheri. “Now we know that the diversion near Amboli will be permanent and the fares need to be revised,” he stated.