In the wake of the ongoing strike called by employees of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), School Bus Owners’ Association has announced that a total of 2000 private buses will provide service to passengers in Mumbai.
“1000 school buses and 1000 private buses will provide services to passengers in the light of the strike by BEST bus employees,” said Anil Garg of the School Bus Owners’ Association. Furthermore, Garg said passengers travelling up to 10 km will be charged Rs 20, beyond which BEST rates will be applicable. “Differently abled and senior citizens can travel free of cost. Service is being provided by School Bus Owners’ Association and Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana,” he added.
BEST, the lifeline of Mumbai, has a fleet size of as many as 3200 buses and comprises around 32,000 employees. It is the second largest transport system in the metropolis after local trains. More than 70 lakh people commute via BEST buses on a daily basis. The indefinite strike is a result of stalled talks with regards to the merger of BEST budget and ‘A’ budget of BMC. Protestors are also seeking resolution of the issue of employee service residences and recruitment.