Emergency doors on 2 BEST buses | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Emergency doors on 2 BEST buses

The city’s new violet coloured air-conditioned buses will soon have emergency doors in addition to the regular doors towards the front. Shashank Rao reports.

mumbai Updated: Sep 12, 2009 01:31 IST
Shashank Rao

The city’s new violet coloured air-conditioned buses will soon have emergency doors in addition to the regular doors towards the front.

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has procured two air-conditioned buses made in China, following the state transport department’s new order to have emergency doors on all public and private buses on contract.

A. Tamboli, the BEST’s chief public relations officer, confirmed this: “We’ve bought two prototype buses and are waiting for permission from the Regional Transport Office.”

After the RTO confirms the buses have been modified according to the transport department’s new specifications, the two buses can start functioning within a fortnight.

The BEST plans to phase in more such buses in time. The new rules on modified buses came after a bus ferrying schoolchildren caught fire in Panvel, resulting in five deaths so far out of 22 children who suffered serious burn injuries.

The state transport department found that the injuries and loss of life would have been minimised had there been an emergency exit on the bus.

The new rules say an air-conditioned bus should have doors with a width of 650 mm in front and 1200 mm at the rear. The second door would be near the rear wheels – existing buses do not have this arrangement. Nearly 1,000 such ‘revised’ buses will be procured for Mumbai, while more than 2500 buses have been sanctioned for the state under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The new buses will have sliding windows, low flooring and an electronic display board showing the final destination of the bus. This board, which will cover the top front of the windscreen, will have an amber light that will make it visible from 15 metres away in any season.

The new buses will also sport plastic molded seats, LCD screens, fire extinguishers, a bus stop announcement system, air suspension and CCTV cameras that can store images for 48 hours.

They are also likely have a wheelchair anchoring facility, with plans for a ‘stop request’ button for the physically challenged, to allow them to alight wherever they want along any given route.

The life of these buses is expected to be 10 years.