However, the BEST workers’ union opposed the proposal.
Mumbai: In a bid to improve the frequency of buses and the financial condition of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), the BEST administration has proposed to buy 1,000 buses on wet lease. However, the BEST workers’ union opposed the proposal.
According to sources, Surendra Bagde, general manager, BEST, said in a meeting that if 1,000 buses were purchased on wet leasing, 1,000 BEST passengers would increase daily and revenue would also improve.
The meeting was held Wednesday with Shashank Rao, leader, BEST workers’ union; and Ashish Chemburkar, chairman, BEST committee by Mr Bagde to find out ways for overcoming the financial crisis which the undertaking is presently facing.
BEST officials said that the BEST administration had requested the union that it wasn’t contemplating retrenching staff but considering wet leasing of buses for transportation to cut down losses.
Mr Bagde also said, “This will enable the administration to overcome the financial crisis and make the bus operation more efficient. It is in the general interest of Mumbaikars that close to 1,000 buses — especially midi, mini and AC buses which fit appropriately in traffic congestion and carry more passengers —bring in more revenue for the undertaking.”
BEST officials said that if the number of buses on the road was increased, the frequency would also improve, reducing passengers’ waiting time at bus stops. The move would he-lp get additional passengers. The mini bus would play a key role in curbing traffic congestion.
Wet-leasing buses would mean procuring them from private contractors who will also provide drivers and pay for the vehicles’s daily maintenance and insurance.