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97080Only one route profitable for BEST in Mumbai

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  • <ravindra@...>
    Aug 22, 2014
      The Time of India
      TNN | Jul 25, 2014, 11.31PM IST
      Somit Sen,

      Only one route profitable for BEST in Mumbai

      MUMBAI: The cash-strapped BEST is making profits in only one route┬Śnumber 340 from Ghatkopar (W) to Andheri (E). At the same time, routes which have been completely loss-making have increased from 350 to 392.

      The monthly statistics bulletin for April 2014, which was handed over to the media by BEST committee member Sunil Ganacharya on Friday, portrays a grim picture┬Śfrom the five routes that were profit-making last year, only one (route 340) is still on that list. "It is a sorry state of affairs and the administration needs to take corrective steps to increase the number of profit-making routes," Ganacharya said.

      Ironically, the profit-making route 340 is also the route which was badly hit due to the recent launch of the Ghatkopar-Andheri Metro train service. Many passengers on the bus route are believed to have migrated to the Metro and the future of this route also appears bleak, sources said. "Are we heading for the day when there will be not a single profit-making route in Mumbai?" said another committee member, who did not wish to be named.

      Ganacharya said that the number of passengers has also declined in the red buses. "Statistics clearly show that the number of passengers per bus per day was 963 in April 2013 and this has come down to 871 in a year."

      Data showed that the number of passengers per bus per day had gone up to 971 in December 2013, but had dropped to 871 passengers per day per bus in April 2014.

      Senior BEST officials said the drop in passengers was due to the summer vacation. "One should not jump to conclusion on the basis of monthly statistics. During summer, there is usually a drop in passengers as citizens are out of town on vacation," an official explained. However, committee members said that if one compared the figures with last year's summer vacation, there was still a decline in the number of passengers per bus per day.