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Eat, Drink and Be…on the Bus?
Mumbai's BEST buses may be joining other high-end bus operators around the world, like the Bauer Wi-Drive in San Francisco, that offer food and drinks to passengers.  Photo: Mike Kepka, The Chronicle.

Mumbai's BEST buses may be joining other high-end bus operators around the world, like the Bauer Wi-Drive in San Francisco, that offer food and drinks to passengers. Photo: Mike Kepka, The Chronicle.

Mumbai’s bus commuters may not have to go hungry on their rides any longer. BEST officials are considering making snacks and cold drinks available on select routes and in air-conditioned buses. Commuters would be able to purchase packaged food items, cold drinks, mineral water and newspapers in the vehicles.

An independent contractor has submitted a proposal for the in-vehicle retailing, offering to pay BEST Rs 350 ($7.75) per bus per month. However, the idea is still in its initial stages, and officials have not decided how the service will be offered (using vending machines or sales people, etc.).

Officials hope to attract new riders and raise revenues with the food and beverage offering. It may appeal to riders who need to save time and eat while commuting. “As there are regular traffic snarls in parts of the city, a commuter can take a bite and relax,” one said.

“We think (the service) would be a great thing,” said BEST Chairman Dilip Patel. If it goes well, BEST would introduce it in all 270 AC King Long buses.

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