Mumbai prefers Metro services with AC

Mumbai: The opening of the Metro for the commoners in Mumbai has dented the business of the BEST buses and other public transports like auto rickshaw. While the metro is seen running overloaded, BEST said at least 11,000 of its daily commuters between Versova and Ghatkopar seemed to have abandoned it in favour of the air-conditioned comfort of Metro.

Over 5 lakh people travelled by metro on its inaugural day and numbers rose day by day in the metro and number of commuters in BEST buses and auto rickshaws started reducing. There are more than 20 bus routes on Andheri bus stations (west and east) and Ghatkopar and majority of the buses were running empty even during the peak hours.

“Our buses will complement the Metro rail, for which we are assessing the locations from where feeder routes can be operated,” said a BEST official. Authorities estimate the drop in passengers to be at least 25 per cent of the total passengers in and around the Versova-Ghatkopar corridor.

While the condition of buses is worsening with every passing day, auto drivers have already slashed their fares. “We have reduced the fare from Rs 20 to Rs 15 for share rickshaws going towards Sakinaka and Marol,” said Rajendra Tiwari, a driver from Andheri (East).

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