After restaurants and bars, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) also wants to introduce ‘Happy Hours’ to attract more footfalls.The proposal to introduce ‘Happy Hours’ in bus fares was cleared on Wednesday and will now be forwarded to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for final approval.Several other passenger-friendly measures have also been doled out, including reduction in fares — as reported by dna on April 19. These measures seems to be introduced by the Shiv Sena-BJP ruled BEST-BMC due to civic elections slated for early 2017.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Wednesday, the proposal was cleared to reduce fares for air-conditioned buses by half. While travelling beyond 8-km in ordinary bus routes will become cheaper by Rs2. As per the cleared proposal, those travelling for 8, 12, 17 and 25-km will have to pay Rs 2 less. But those opting for shorter distances will have to continue paying with the existing fares, despite a demand from the Congress representatives. The ‘Happy Hours’ will be limited to bus passes like daily air-conditioned bus pass, daily ordinary pass and daily bus pass for island city and suburbs. Under the ‘Happy Hours’ that will be into effect between 11am to 5pm, daily air-conditioned bus pass will be available for Rs150 instead of Rs200.Similarly, daily ordinary bus pass has been cut down to Rs51 from Rs70, for island city-suburbs it has been reworked to Rs29 and Rs36 from Rs40 and Rs50 respectively.Travelling in air-conditioned buses too will be cheaper by 50 per cent due to reduction in fares. Lately, air-conditioned buses isn’t getting popular response forcing BEST to cut down on bus routes. Authorities now hope that fare reduction will increase ridership.Share taxis and autos have managed to eat up a larger share of BEST’s passengers, this has come as a blow to the bus provider’s financial health. The administration hopes to recover it’s lost ground and add more passengers after the rate cut.As the length of each bus stops has been reduced and the total stages increased, the administration anticipates reduction in ticketing revenue by Rs4.61 lakh. In order to recover the lost revenue, it expects that passenger ridership to increase by 22,33,500.Likewise, lowering bus pass prices will result in lesser collection by Rs4.81 lakh for which sale of extra 555 bus passes is expected daily. As air-conditioned bus tariff too has been cut down by half, there will be lesser daily collection by Rs1.6 lakh for which 2,400 passengers will have to take a ride to bridge the deficit.

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Mumbai: BEST mulls over introducing happy hours