Mumbai's double-decker buses to make a comeback in electric form
Mumbai's double-decker buses will come back in electric form, stated a Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking official. The source also added that the number of these electric double-decker buses will be almost equivalent to what it was back in the 1990s. Currently, there are around 50 double-decker buses which are plying in the southern part of the city and some of these are being used to give heritage tours. This existing batch of buses which were introduced in 2007 would soon go off the roads.
An electric air-conditioned double-decker bus has been recently launched. The BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra said the all-electric double-decker bus will hit the roads in September. This new electric AC double-decker bus comes with a twin door-stairway arrangement, bigger windows, bucket seats, CCTVs, charging points for phones and laptops and public address systems. “Two bus contractors will give BEST 900 electric double-deckers by the end of 2023. In the 1990s, we had over 900 double-decker buses and we are soon going to go back to the same situation by the end of next year," added Chandra.
The BEST GM also stated that these electric buses will push the number of commuters to around 40 lakh from 33 lakh passengers per day. “These double-deckers will help us regain carrying capacity of 1.5 lakh seats per day, which were lost due to the introduction of smaller buses," said Chandra.
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According to a PTI report, officials said that BEST had the highest number of double-decker buses in 1990, however, after 1995 the figures started falling. By 2006, the city's premier road transport utility had 225 double-deckers as losses began to accumulate and operating costs started to increase.