Red-and-white or white-and-yellow bus: Which one will be Mumbai’s BEST choice? | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Red-and-white or white-and-yellow bus: Which one will be Mumbai’s BEST choice?

The change in colour scheme is part of BEST’s plan to overhaul its services by providing free WiFi inside buses and at bus stops, entertainment options on commuters’ mobile phones, real-time location and expected time of arrival.

mumbai Updated: May 12, 2017 09:22 IST
Kailash Korde
Officials said the idea is to bring back the glory of the century-old Undertaking and its buses by attracting more commuters.
Officials said the idea is to bring back the glory of the century-old Undertaking and its buses by attracting more commuters.(Kunal Patil/HT Photo)

The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking buses in Mumbai may soon shed their iconic red colour if residents of the city give a nod to painting them white and yellow.

It is part of BEST’s plan to overhaul its services by introducing a new colour scheme, providing free WiFi inside buses and at bus stops, entertainment options on commuters’ mobile phones, real-time location and expected time of arrival (ETA).

Officials said the idea is to bring back the glory of the century-old undertaking and its buses by attracting more commuters. In the past few years, BEST buses have rapidly lost passengers with the daily ridership dropping to 28 lakh from 35 lakh.

The administration of the civic transport and electricity providing public body has painted two buses white with yellow stripes on each side on an experimental basis following a suggestion by the JJ Institute of Applied Arts.

BEST public relation officer Hanumant Gophane said they already have approval from the transport authority to repaint the buses.

“Once the second bus is ready, both the buses will be plied,” he said.

The red-and-white BEST buses in Mumbai. (File)

He said BEST will collect feedback from commuters and its staff, including drivers, conductors and mechanics for the next six months. “Based on the feedback, the decision about final colour scheme would be taken,” he said.

Five students and their professor of the art institute have designed the colour scheme for the buses, along with the logo of the undertaking. The existing red-white logo has a bus inside a bulb that was designed by professors from the JJ institute in the 1960s.

Most of the BEST committee members, however, have opposed the proposal, saying the undertaking will be unable to maintain the white colour and the new colour scheme will adversely affect the identity of the British-era public transport system.

“Even with the red colour, we are hardly able to maintain our buses and keep them clean. How will the administration maintain the white colour? Do they have a plan to wash and keep them clean?” Ravi Raja, a senior committee member, had asked.

Earlier, the colour scheme of the suburban trains was changed from maroon and yellow to white and purple. Since 2007, Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design twice designed the colour scheme of the local trains that ferry 75 lakh commuters daily.

BEST buses are the second-largest mode of the mass transport following suburban trains in Mumbai. BEST buses serve as feeder service for the suburban trains. Together, the suburban trains and BEST buses ferry more than one crore commuters every day.

BEST has a fleet of about 3800 buses, including 120 double-decker buses. Most of the buses in the undertaking’s fleet are painted red, excluding the 266 purple air-conditioned (AC) buses.