BUS KARO, BMC! Chief Pardeshi says BEST will only be a feeder service in the future

Buses to operate on routes outside railways, Metro and Mono stations says BMC Chief

Image result for BEST bus
Image Courtesy: DNA

Dear Folks, just when we thought our beloved BEST was resuscitated and brought back from the clutches of death; the recent statement by the BMC Chief has almost taken its breath away – and not in a good way.

BMC Chief Praveen Pardeshi recently said that the BEST, the lifeline of Aamchi Mumbai will only operate on feeder routes, i.e. mostly just ply to railway, Metro and Mono stations in the future. At the launch of the city’s first AC mini-buses at Colaba on September 16, he said, “The red buses should ply on bare minimum long-distance routes where Metro does not operate.”

In the recent past, the BMC really outdid themselves by giving the BEST a push towards success – they announced a drastic reduction in the bus fares, majorly expanded the bus fleet, decided to fund the BMC to bring it out of its losses, implemented dedicated bus lanes and imposed heavy fines for parking private vehicles on major routes (we know you all shared memes about this).

This move by the civic authorities did not materialize in a vacuum. A robust and creative citizens support movement, a nine day protest strike, brought the authorities to their knees, so to speak.

But the announcement of reducing the BEST to a feeder service has shocked us. Let us tell you why.

  1. AAMCHI BEST is the cheapest mode of transport there is for the AAM AADMI. Shuttling only on long routes in the future will deny the lower income sections of the society of the option of traveling by bus. How will they travel?
  2. Yes, we know, EK SE BHALE DO. But not in this matter. It takes time, effort and money to change modes of transport – from bus to rail and back to bus again. Isn’t it just way more sensible for commuters to stick to one mode of transport (buses) for certain distances and routes?
  3. BEST has always emerged to be India’s transport Superhero – come rain or shine. Let us just not get into what happens to the railway network when it pours. How then can the BMC take away this great service away from the people?
  4. Unlike the railways, the BEST services are flexible and can be expanded according to shifting demand, almost cost-free. Isn’t it better then, to institute dedicated lanes for buses – even on roads where the Metro operates and the let the commuters which works better for them in terms of cost and convenience?
  5. The government is already building a coastal road, open to only private vehicles, where no buses will be plying. Why are we robbing the city of public transport and aiding pollution when the whole world is shifting towards doing the opposite?
  6. Won’t this step force the aam junta to shell out more from their pockets forcibly? Isn’t the BMC secretly aiding crony capitalism by doing this?
  7. If the buses go, the bus depots will go too. The bus depots which sit on a huge chunk of land will be sold. To whom? No prizes for guessing!

Worldwide, the public transport system is gaining popularity. Countries in Europe have made bus transport free of cost. Not only this, they have the lowest carbon footprint per passenger than any other form of motorized transport.

We at Sabrang India, appeal to the people to ask the BMC Commissioner to take back his statement. The BEST is the lifeblood of the city and it is our duty to save it.
Related Articles:

  1. BMC announces 100 crore monthly aid for BEST buses on conditions of Wet-leasing
  2. Government and automobile lobby are in a cosy affair while public transport is treated like filth
  3. Striking Workers of Mumbai’s Red BEST Bus face threat of losing Jobs: BMC



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