On public demand, BEST decides not to scrap open-deck buses
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking in Mumbai will be procuring new open-deck tourist buses after receiving positive feedback from the public. The decision comes after the announcement that the last three such buses would be scrapped. The buses will be used for curated and non-curated tours, with fares ranging from ₹180 to ₹400.
There is good news for Mumbaiites as the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking on Wednesday announced that it would procure new open-deck tourist buses. HT had reported on September 5 that the undertaking would scrap the last three such buses, known as Nilambari, on October 5.
“We have initiated the process though we haven’t yet decided on the number of these buses we will place orders for. This decision has been taken owing to the response that we got from people about continuing these Nilambari buses,” a BEST official, who did not wish to be named, said.
Sources said till they got those buses they would operate AC double-decker buses for tourists on the route Nilambari took. During weekdays, there will be three AC double-decker buses which will go up to five on weekends.
In August, the three Nilambari buses made 502 trips and ferried 15,358 passengers which fetched BEST ₹22.96 lakh in revenue. For curated tours, ₹400 is charged for an hour and the bus starts at Colaba or Gateway of India and covers important locations. There are non-curated rides as well for which a tourist can pay ₹180 directly from the spot where the journey begins.
The fares can vary depending on whether an individual wants to take a ride for an hour or half an hour. These open deck buses were introduced in January 1997 and on average at least 150-250 tourists take the Nilambari buses every day. Earlier, around 50 open-deck double-decker buses, which could have been air-conditioned on the lower deck, were proposed but it never took off.