BEST celebrated its 61st anniversary in style. The favorite bahu of Indian Television Smriti Irani and Mumbai Mayor Dr. Shubha Raul traveled with commuters in BEST buses. It was all events almost in every corner of Mumbai to mark BEST’s 61st anniversary celebrations in Mumbai. From felicitating bus conducters and drivers to organizing street plays and taking celebrities for a ride, BEST did it in style as it arrived on the figure 61. And as it marked 61 years on road, Mumbai’s iconic BEST looked eager to wean more motorists away from their cars. And in an effort to show they mean business, top BEST officials got municipal chiefs and leading political figures, not to mention Mayor Shubha Raul and television personality Smriti Irani, to hitch bus rides to hit the road with their campaign. Smriti Irani recalled the days when she came to Mumbai and was struggling describing BEST as a companion. Smriti Irani says that with monsoon running havoc in Mumbai for the last few years, BEST is been the best option. On the other hand, Mayor Dr. Shubha Raul caught the BEST ride from the stop outside her residence in Mumbai. She caught BEST Bus No. 83. Commuters were excited to catch Mumbai’s first citizen among them in their daily rides. The Mayor recalled her college days when she traveled in BEST for Rs. 20 paise. The Mayor had a piece of advice for fellow Mumbaikars too. She said that more and more commuters should opt for BEST and practice eco friendly traveling. In the evening an event at Dadar marked the grand finale of the celebrations. Mayor Dr. Shubha Raul, MCGM Commissioner Dr. Jairaj Pathak and BEST Chairman Pravin Chedha were present during the event. An increase in the number of buses from the present fleet of 3,629 to 4,000 by March 2009 as well as luxury buses will inspire confidence in car owners to travel by bus, BEST bosses reckon. Over 71 air conditioned buses as well as trial runs of low-floor buses, installation of telephones in some vehicles and improved services have all gone towards making a good start. The primary role of the BEST has been to supplement suburban railways which carry millions of commuters daily. All the events showcased the eagerness of BEST to emerge as the vehicle of choice for Mumbaikars. With cameraperson Ravi Nikam, Ashok Jagtap for NMTV News.
November 23, 2008