Mumbai commuters may soon enjoy FM on Best buses

MUMBAI: FM radio on Mumbai's ubiquitous Best buses? It could soon be a reality with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (Best) proposing to call for a tender from all the existing FM operators to offer radio services in buses.

The main aim in this effort is to have a communication system designed that will connect Best's control room to the radio station in case of emergency like last year's 26 July deluge that ground the city to a halt. Best has had a few rounds of discussions with operators expressing its interest in providing value added service to its commuters.

The public transport undertaking has stated that only one FM radio station will be able to broadcast their content. According to a reliable source, "At the moment, Best has proposed that the operators run a pilot project whereby the operators will learn the possible cost of the infrastructure that has to be built." The pilot project has been chalked out for a month.

"The operators will be given four to five buses wherein they will be able the get the know-how as to how the communication system cum FM radio can be set-up. Also on which radio band frequency can they run their station and have a better clue of the FM system," the source adds.

It is interesting to note that Best is already exploiting mobile services. The users of two operators; Reliance and Tata mobile services can get information of the entire route network on their mobile phones.

There are approximately 3,400 buses and everyday as many as 4.5 million people commute by Best buses in Mumbai.

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