Mumbai to get 1st AC electric double-decker bus | Bombay News

MUMBAI: The city’s first electric double-decker AC bus is set to launch the first week of August to coincide with the BETTER Foundation Day on August 7, company sources said on Sunday.
With a daily ridership of over 31 lakh and expected to increase by around 1-2 lakh, BEST will require more buses to meet the growing demand for commuters. The double-decker buses will offer a transport capacity of 78 to 90 people per bus.
With 900 double-decker electric contracts already approved recently, the first batch of 225 double-decker buses is expected by the end of the year. When contacted, the general manager of BEST Lokesh Chandra said that the design of the double-decker prototype has been finalized and that the construction of the body will now be carried out on the chassis by the contractor.
“The bus will have two stairs instead of one in the existing double-decker bus. This will ensure smooth passenger flow when getting on or off the bus,” he said. He added that the buses will be quiet, electric and air-conditioned, which will not only increase load capacity but also allow for comfortable journeys.
Currently, there are 48 non-air-conditioned double-decker buses carrying passengers on 16 routes across Mumbai. It has good footfall on busy routes from CSMT to Nariman Point, Colaba to Worli, Kurla to Santacruz, etc. One of the most popular routes is from CSMT to the Backbay depot. Once the size of the double decker fleet increases, more double decker buses will be deployed on CSMT-Nariman Point, Churchgate-Colaba/ Cuffe Parade/ Nariman Point and on routes along the Western and Eastern Expressways, LBS Marg, SV Road and P D’mello Road, he said.
While the first batch of 225 double-decker buses are expected this year, the next batch of 225 buses will arrive by March 2023 and the remaining 450 by June 2023.
It’s part of BEST’s initiative to save the city’s iconic double-decker buses which have seen a steep decline of 60% over the past two years – from 120 buses in 2019 to 48 in 2021, most buses having completed their lifespan.
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