BEST service in Mumbai to be wet-leased to private sector

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Considering the current complex problems of falling revenue, lack of popularity and increasing costs of the BEST bus service has led to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbaia��s decision to wet-lease the service to private players.

Fleets of the BEST will be increased, reviving the bus service by making it more advanced, accessible and efficient. In defence to the objections from citizens regarding privatising the age-old BEST service, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said that BEST tickets prices, bus routes, protection of current BEST employees, their children will continue to be controlled by the BEST.

With extreme pressure for development in Mumbai, private developers are eyeing the BEST depots too. A�The commissioner said, that BEST depots are public lands and has rejected all proposals for redevelopment. Instead by increasing bus fleets and involving private buses, will allow for fleet combination flexibility, bring in flexibility in operations without changing ticket prices, hence making it financially sound, efficient and most preferred than Ola and Uber. He assured that apart from current BEST employees, employment of private drivers, having Maharashtra domicile, will be preferred.

With the new metro service in the city, there is imagined to be a change in routes for BEST service, which will be rationally altered only where necessary. A dynamic route planning using GPS in buses, where passengers can plan their route and bus numbers, will be installed. Also in case there is a sudden crowd in one place, moving out people by increasing the frequency of buses, will be dynamically decided using this bus scheduling system, controlled by the BEST and not the private sector.

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