A report in this paper said that this is double trouble for BEST as the number of people traveling without tickets in Big Red has more than doubled. This was revealed because checking generated double the revenue from ticketless passengers in 2021 as compared to 2020. Officials said their app, designed to help with cashless transactions, digital payments and automated online ticketing options, will take care of the problem.
Passengers without tickets are caught because of surprise checking at buses and bus stops. Conductorless buses have also contributed to the increase in these numbers.
While apps and supervisors are checking for ticketless travel, we need to be ashamed that the numbers have gone up. Instead, we should see a steady decline in ticketless travel which is plain and simple crime.
It is important that we do not dismiss this abruptly, or try to explain that it was the distance between two stops and a small amount of fare that was skipped. Instead, look at its germ, depriving the BEST service of true revenue and fraud.
Trying to justify it by saying it’s a small amount is tantamount to saying, I just duplicated an answer on a test. However, the point is to copy or cheat.
BEST has been a savior during this pandemic. It was one of the first services to run through the city in the earlier waves of the virus. Many people have contracted the virus while the drivers and conductors have done their duty.
Mumbaikars are proud of the coveted BEST and faced outrage and dismay over reports of the service being discontinued. Reports about efforts to revive it and keep it alive caused joy and happiness. It is a shame then that some travelers, certainly not all, attempt to spoof the service synonymous with megapolis. The best needs to be brought out to be the best of all, not the worst of the few whose numbers have unfortunately doubled.