Mumbai is home to many iconic landmarks, food items and transport systems. Trams were removed from the city and replaced with buses. BEST, or Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport, was the civic transport body that operated the bus system in Mumbai. Currently, it consists of buses running on CNG, AC ones, minibuses, double-decker buses and so on. In fact, the double-decker ones were one of the city’s iconic specialities. Unfortunately, by year-end, these buses would phase out.
Mumbai Double-Decker Bus To Be Phased Out!
Currently, the city houses around 45 buses, out of which, 40 will be phased out by the end of this year! According to a Hindustan Times report, BEST sources have confirmed this news. Apparently, double-decker buses need to be decommissioned since they have reached the end of their 15-year operational lifespan.
The BEST General Manager, Lokesh Chandra, stated that the majority of these buses will be taken out due to safety reasons. He added that they don’t plan to reinstate these buses.
Iconic Bus Of Mumbai
These double-decker buses were introduced back in 1937 and they were quite famous. In fact, people would wait for these buses just to occupy seats at the top deck. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)-Churchgate, CSMT-World Trade Centre and Santacruz East train station are a few of the routes that double-decker buses travel. There were over 120 double-deckers in the fleet two to three years before the Covid-19 outbreak, but they have since slowly declined.
As BEST struggles to find AC ones, the non-AC double-decker buses will eventually be phased out. Currently, Switch Mobility, a division of Ashok Leyland, produces two AC electric double-decker buses that are in use in Mumbai. It has proven difficult to find electric ones. The company’s output has been slow, and BEST officials reported significant delays. Over time, BEST expects to increase the number of these AC double-decker electric buses in its fleet by at least 50. These buses have undergone modifications, such as the removal of the obstruction in the lower deck emergency exit.
Mumbaikars are certainly going to miss their beloved double-decker bus!
Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia