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Old 15th July 2015, 20:37   #136
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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I would like to share an incident that I experienced today. I was waiting at the bus stop of AC buses for Thane at Borivali station. It is a common stop used by Thane bound AC buses of BEST, TMT and NMMT. A TMT Volvo was at the stop, filling up fast as usual. In comes a BEST Cerita. The conductor got down from the bus, and started wooing passengers towards his bus, calling out for people to board the bus. In spite of this, people turned deaf ears and boarded the Volvo which is cheaper (Rs 75 vs BEST's Rs 120) and faster. BEST has shot themselves in the foot even in the monthly season ticket fare. Who in their right minds will pay around Rs 4500 for a monthly AC bus pass? By doing this, they lost the passholder commuters too.
At the risk of going

What is the fare charged by NMMT on the same route? 75 vs 120 is a big difference. That 4500 for a monthly pass sounds really bad. Its just 3600 for the Airport bus pass here in Bangalore, and only 2250/2300 if you want to travel within city limits only. And BMTC gives you, mostly, Volvos as well - except for the few odd Coronas.
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Old 16th July 2015, 20:00   #137
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

Sad to see that the pride of Bombay has to beg for passangers.

Exhorbitant prices and "POOR" buses did the BEST in. I was a daily commuter on one of the popular AC routes for more than 1 year and then suddenly out of the blue they shoot up the fares to 100 INR. I travel with my wife as we work in the same area and on calculation we found that even a petrol hatch would cost us atleast 20 - 30% less than the BEST AC bus. So ditched the bus and bought convinience and time.

It would be also interesting to know that "Instead of strengthening the BEST network, which person in the governments policy making department allowed TMT and NMMT buses to roll into BEST domain. i.e. Mumbai city and suburbs. "

BEST lost the game from day 1 when NMMT Came in to Mumbai region with their Volvos.

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Old 17th July 2015, 08:17   #138
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Angry re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
It would be also interesting to know that "Instead of strengthening the BEST network, which person in the governments policy making department allowed TMT and NMMT buses to roll into BEST domain. i.e. Mumbai city and suburbs. "

BEST lost the game from day 1 when NMMT Came in to Mumbai region with their Volvos.
I would disagree with your statement. It was because other Municipal transport services adopted latest technologies that forced BEST to look for better alternatives to the usual Tata and Ashok Leyland buses. It was also demand from the far flung suburbs for the BEST to cover those areas too as BEST did find those routes new and additional income. But it failed miserably to provide the services while increasing fares on regular basis. This forced the other Municipal transport services to start their own fleet into BEST territory. Thats not bad, it promotes healthy competition and good services. The fact that this competition did not happen healthily is another matter. At least the commuter was to gain from these multiple poaching.

Recently I had the opportunity to use BEST services but it did not materialize. I was to catch the BEST from Powai to Thane (492 ltd). Stood at the bus stop for almost 40 mins when the bus frequency is actually 20 mins. When the bus arrived, it was packed to the brim but the conductor was still urging the commuters at the stop to get in and hang at the footboard. Luckily for me another office colleague arrived and we shared an auto to Thane.
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Old 17th July 2015, 13:27   #139
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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The fact that this competition did not happen healthily is another matter. At least the commuter was to gain from these multiple poaching.
.
Exactly my point, when i say that "BEST lost the game when NMMT came in with their swanky Volvos and at cheaper rates".

Between has anybody got any insight of the financials of the other transport undertakings like NMMT or TMT ? How are they surviving, considering that they bought the more expensive Volvos ?

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Old 17th July 2015, 13:32   #140
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Angry re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Between has anybody got any insight of the financials of the other transport undertakings like NMMT or TMT ? How are they surviving, considering that they bought the more expensive Volvos?
As far as financials are concerned , the lesser said for TMT the better. They have been in dumps for god know how long. Every TMC budget has a specific allocation to revive the TMT but nothing happens in reality. The buses have deteriorated to an extent that one feels the glass or roof of these buses can collapse any moment. I see on an average at least two buses daily stranded on the Thane roads. It seems there was an order under JNURM to procure the earlier Kinglong buses, then the Cerita and now the Volvo. But on roads there are still the old Tata and Leyland buses plying.
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Old 17th July 2015, 13:40   #141
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Exactly my point, when i say that "BEST lost the game when NMMT came in with their swanky Volvos and at cheaper rates".
I will respond to the other points later in the day, but just a quick response - cheaper rates were not from day one. For most part, NMMT and BEST AC buses had comparable fares, plus/minus Rs 5-10 which won't make any major difference in patronage. The huge fare difference came into picture only after BEST's insane hikes in February and April 2015.

Before the fare hike, quality of buses was the factor which led people to prefer NMMT. Fare hike was last nail in the coffin. I firmly believe that BEST should give up on these AC buses, as they are only going to lose more money by continuing to operating them. Reputation of these buses is never going to change (rightly so).
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Old 17th July 2015, 13:44   #142
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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I will respond to the other points later in the day, but just a quick response - cheaper rates were not from day one. For most part, NMMT and BEST AC buses had comparable fares, plus/minus Rs 5-10 which won't make any major difference in patronage. The huge fare difference came into picture only after BEST's insane hikes in February and April 2015.

Before the fare hike, quality of buses was the factor which led people to prefer NMMT. Fare hike was last nail in the coffin. I firmly believe that BEST should give up on these AC buses, as they are only going to lose more money by continuing to operating them. Reputation of these buses is never going to change (rightly so).
Waiting for your response .

Meanwhile , i agree that initially rates were almost at par, but then BEST hit a hammer on it's own feet by increasing the fares.



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Old 21st July 2015, 10:42   #143
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Default re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

In a first, BEST buses to run without conductors on south Mumbai routes.

In a first, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, the most used public transport after suburban railways, will soon introduce bus services without conductors on certain routes in south Mumbai.



The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA), the statutory body chaired by the state transport secretary, has given its nod to the introduction of such a facility on four routes -- 1 special (CST-Nariman Point), 2 special (CST-World Trade Centre), 8 special (Churchgate-World Trade Centre) and 9 special (Churchgate-Nariman Point) where there are no stops between the starting point and the destination, from August 1. Sources said the facility will be extended to other routes, depending on the success of the four routes. To implement it, BEST undertaking will introduce radio-frequency identification (RFID) card readers, pneumatic-operated doors and ticket-issuing facility at bus stops.

Source and Full Story

http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai...1-1371367.aspx


Good decision. Though I wonder how will they stop people from boarding the bus in the middle of the road.
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Old 21st July 2015, 11:00   #144
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Red face Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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To implement it, BEST undertaking will introduce radio-frequency identification (RFID) card readers, pneumatic-operated doors and ticket-issuing facility at bus stops.

Good decision. Though I wonder how will they stop people from boarding the bus in the middle of the road.
The pneumatic operated doors are operated from inside. Unless the driver wishes to take in the passengers, the doors wont open till the final stop is reached. This is prevalent in the Shivneri buses plying between Thane and Pune. The bus halts only at a couple of known places and then till Pune is reached no other halts permitted.

Just to answer Dieseltuned queries related to financials, find below the sad state of TMT operated by Thane Municipal corporation. The fare hike was wef July 17th.

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Travelling by Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) buses will now be an expensive affair as the corporation has decided to hike fares by Rs 2 to Rs 10 starting from Friday morning. The transport body is facing losses running up to Rs 5 lakh daily. So, the officials feel that a hike in fares will help them offset the losses by at least 40%.

The TMT had presented the proposal before the general body which was approved by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority (MMRTA). For the first 10km, the fare has been hiked by Rs 2, while for the 10-16km slab the hike is Rs 3. Fare has been hiked by Rs 5 for those travelling between 16-40km.

Meanwhile, the hike for a ride on an AC bus for the first 16km is Rs 5 and Rs 10 for the remaining journey, a civic official said. The undertaking operated around 5,996 services daily and earns around Rs 18.50 lakh on an average. The rising maintenance cost has resulted in huge losses to the undertaking, said an official.
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Old 21st July 2015, 11:07   #145
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

They should shut down BEST, retrench the workforce from their cushy over fed positions and then create a new transport undertaking. Their maintainance staff doesn't work, buses are ramshackle, their conductors and ticket checkers unduly rude and drivers are rash egomaniacs. It is impossible for any turnaround with the current workforce hence a shakedown is necessary.
It's a good time to do so, since people have stopped patronising their service and their existence is immaterial.

It's sad to see this severe deterioration of a bus service which once was compared to the London bus service and was for a long time the best public transport system in India.

Last edited by apachelongbow : 21st July 2015 at 11:08.
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Old 21st July 2015, 13:26   #146
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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They should shut down BEST, retrench the workforce from their cushy over fed positions and then create a new transport undertaking. Their maintainance staff doesn't work, buses are ramshackle, their conductors and ticket checkers unduly rude and drivers are rash egomaniacs. It is impossible for any turnaround with the current workforce hence a shakedown is necessary.
It's a good time to do so, since people have stopped patronising their service and their existence is immaterial.

It's sad to see this severe deterioration of a bus service which once was compared to the London bus service and was for a long time the best public transport system in India.
I partially agree to your views. I agree that the BEST has lost it's past glory, but the staff are still one of the best you will find amongst any other public transport undertakings in India. Within India compare the staff to any other transport body lets say one from gujarat (GSRTC) or the Janmarg (BRTS) in Ahmedabad. Most of the staff stink of liquor and refuse to give tickets and pocket the money. OR the one that I used in Calcutta. (outright refusal to give tickets)

Compare the BEST staff to PMPML (Pune transport body) and I am sure you will come running back to BEST staffers.

All of the above from my personal experiences in these cities.

The problem with the BEST drivers started when they started introducing the contracted workforce, who don't care 2 cents for the rule of the road and the BEST governing body can't control them just beacuse they are 'Contractors' and not their own work force.

I sincerely pray that BEST sees a turn around with a sensible person at its head.

Regards
Dieseltuned

Last edited by Dieseltuned : 21st July 2015 at 13:27. Reason: added few more points
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Old 24th July 2015, 07:55   #147
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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The problem with the BEST drivers started when they started introducing the contracted workforce, who don't care 2 cents for the rule of the road and the BEST governing body can't control them just beacuse they are 'Contractors' and not their own work force.
I have a problem with this attitude. As we know BEST drivers fall under government worker category, hence we cannot hit them or do anything which constitutes obstruction of government like stopping them from fleeing, else we go to jail. If the driver is a contract employee then how come he is a government servant? If he is a government servant then how come BEST can't control them?
Just proves that the management is hand in gloves with the drivers, too afraid of their union hence allows them to be a law on to themselves. High time this corporation is shut down.
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Old 24th July 2015, 08:50   #148
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Red face Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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High time this corporation is shut down.
I would not agree to this view. Shutting down is not a solution, it means displacing lot many jobs and politically it would not happen. The only way forward is rework the whole strategy of the buses and the fares. Good quality Buses (of course with transparent tendering) with competitive fares will see customers come back to the services.

Till date I atleast have not met a single rude conductor whenever I have travelled. Yes, they get cranky but not due to customers but because of long hours they have put in case some chaps do not report to their duties.
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Old 24th July 2015, 12:33   #149
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

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Till date I atleast have not met a single rude conductor whenever I have travelled.
You've been lucky! I encounter this particular conductor regularly on my daily bus route whose a confrontational character & whose sole aim seems to be to rub the passengers the wrong way.
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Old 24th July 2015, 17:48   #150
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Default Re: B.E.S.T. buses - Painting Mumbai RED!

A look at the present state of affairs. A TMT Volvo with a poorly kept BEST Cerita. The Volvo was full, while the Cerita left without a single passenger.

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