Aishwarya Vasudev, Pallavi Khare and Rachel Alexander
Duration: 18 mins
Language: English, Hindi, and Marathi
Mumbai runs on BEST. Amidst recent reports of financial losses, a looming overhaul and proposed privatization, Aamchi BEST – the film explores the city dwellers’ relationship with the iconic red BEST buses. It simultaneously addresses issues of accessibility in the contemporary scenario of public transport in the city.
BEST has served the city with its fleet of well-connected, cheap buses since 1913. People from all walks of life; use the bus service on an everyday basis. However, in the last 5 years, 900 BEST buses have been taken off the roads. There has been an 18 per cent reduction in the number of routes since 2013-14. There is immense pressure on BEST to make profit from its bus services. The outstanding “losses” run up to Rs.5000 crores. However, the question that needs to be asked at this point is – Isn’t providing public transport a state responsibility? If so, why should the question of buses running into “losses” arise?Precarious times lie ahead for BEST buses as the state strongly intends to convert it into a profit generating entity through privatization. What that would mean for the city dwellers and how that would restrict accessibility, affordability, and further affect jobs of BEST employees is something that the film comments on