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Mumbai’s iconic double-decker buses all set for a comeback with EV

Mumbai’s iconic double-decker buses all set for a comeback with EV

Mumbai: The financial capital of the country Mumbai has made its path in the electric world. Meanwhile, Mumbai’s iconic double checker buses are all set for a comeback, with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport. The officials said Mumbai is the last urban area where these double-deckers are still running, though they were once found in robust numbers in Kolkata, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, Bengaluru, and Chennai, among other cities.

Mumbai’s iconic double-decker buses all set for a comeback in EV
Mumbai’s iconic double-decker buses all set for a comeback in EV

According to the survey it is been found that BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) had the highest number of double-decker buses in 1990. By the year 2006, the city’s premier road transport utility had 225 double-deckers. But now, only a few are left, only 50 double-decker buses are left in Mumbai, most of these operate in the southern part of the city and some of them are used to give heritage tours to tourists.

Now let’s come to the point, the first double-decker electric bus launched in Mumbai last week, even the first electric double-decker bus in India, and would start in September. The BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra said, that two bus contractors will give BEST 900 electric double-deckers by the end of the year 2023. In the 1990s, they had (BEST) over 900 double-decker buses and now they are soon going to go back to the same situation by the end of next year, 2023.

He further said that these new buses will give a comfortable ride and also improve the ridership of BEST to around 40 lakh per day, the current ridership is about 33 lakh passengers per day. Normal buses can carry up to 50-60 passengers per day, but these double-decker buses can carry 100 passengers and help in regaining the carrying capacity of 1.5 lakh seats per day.
The new AC double-decker buses have a twin door-stairway arrangement, bigger windows, CCTVs, charging points for phones and laptops, bucket seats, and public address systems.

On the day of the launching of the double-decker buses, the BEST manager Chandra said, the new electric buses are coming as part of a wet lease model, in which contractors take care of the cost of the entire crew and maintenance of the bus. He also said the operating cost of their existing buses is Rs 150 per kilometer, while the same double-decker and single-decker e-buses on the wet lease model cost around Rs 56 and Rs 46, which is one-third of the total respectively.

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