The BEST is trying a number of initiatives to get the Undertaking out of its current loss-making mode. And though it will take some time for these efforts to actually bear fruit, the BEST is confident of breaking even in the year 2016, as predicted earlier.
Some of these initiatives include the ambitious plan to have an all-in-one 'smart card' that Mumbaikars can use on BEST buses, the metro rail and monorail. At a future date, the suburban railway services are likely to join this initiative as well.
However, apart from this initiative, and the major use of Internet technology in daily activities such as booking of buses and tracking their progress online, the BEST will have to go the extra mile in the face of a looming problem the probable decentralisation of CNG in 2014, which is likely to impact the working of the BEST; currently, a majority of the buses on its fleet run on CNG.
This problem notwithstanding, the Undertaking has lots to cheer about as well. According to a news report in this newspaper a few months ago, the BEST is working overtime to improve its overall processes, especially its engineering department.
The BEST, which over the years has been improving its engineering department to bring down on-road breakdowns of its buses has finally shown some promise, the report states.
According to BEST data, the number of vehicles breaking down on the roads has come down from 64 buses per day, or 1.57 per cent of the average fleet of 3,878, since last year to 57 buses per day or 1.35 per cent of the fleet.