In a major step to regain commuter traffic, BEST will restructure its fare in four slabs with the minimum ticket price set at Rs 5 for five km and Rs 20 for 16 km and above. The revised fare proposal will be tabled before the BEST committee on Friday for approval.
The occasion had brought together various stakeholders, including the then Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, senior officials of BEST, and the workers’ union leader Shashank Rao. During that discussion on ways to save BEST, Mehta had emphasised on the need for wet-leasing and opposed commercialisation of the undertaking’s properties.
His successor Praveen Pardeshi urged BEST to resolve disputes with the unions over wet-leasing and agreed to give them a grant of Rs 100 crore each month till BEST’s budget is merged with that of BMC’s. However, the grant came with two riders: that BEST reduces the minimum fare to Rs 5 for five km and procure buses on wet-leasing.
In the new scheme, fares will be divided into four slabs of 5,10, 15 and 20 km. Commuters travelling in non-AC buses will have to pay Rs 5 for the first slab, Rs 10 for the second, Rs 15 for the third and Rs 20 for the fourth slab and beyond.
Earlier, the BEST non-AC fare was divided into 15 slabs with minimum fare set at Rs 8 for 2 km and the maximum Rs 50 for 50 km
Now, AC fare will also be much cheaper as commuters will only have to pay Rs 6 for up to 5 km as opposed to Rs 15 for just 2 km. Earlier, it would go up to Rs 35 for 10 km, Rs 50 for 17 km and Rs 130 for 50 km. BEST will also do away with its old concept of subsidised tickets for children since the fare is uniform for all age groups. A day-long non-AC pass will cost Rs 50 while AC will be Rs 60.