BEST to buy 100 new upgraded double-decker buses for Mumbai

The diesel-operated buses will be procured in 2021 and will be operated majorly on long-distance routes
BEST has floated tenders for procurement of these buses on November 11 which will open on December 7.(HT Photo)
BEST has floated tenders for procurement of these buses on November 11 which will open on December 7.(HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 16, 2020 12:34 AM IST
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ByAroosa Ahmed, Mumbai

The city is likely to get new double-decker buses by next year. In a major upgrade in its fleet, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) has decided to procure 100 upgraded double-decker buses equipped with advanced features that will make commute smoother and safer for passengers. BEST has floated tenders for procurement of these buses on November 11 which will open on December 7.

The new double decker buses will have capacity of around 70 passengers. They will be operated on automated manual transmission and will be BS-VI compliant that aims at reducing pollution. The new fleet will have two-door entrances, rear door and front door, with pneumatic door closers and two staircases provided for smooth movement of passengers as against to one staircase in the double-decker buses at present.

Emergency exit doors on the back side of the buses will be equipped with closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The buses will also have electronic bus halt destination boards and inter-communication system that will help in communication between bus driver and conductors on both the decks, the officials said. The diesel-operated buses will be procured in 2021 and will be operated majorly on long-distance routes.

“The buses will be the upgraded version for the present double-decker buses. The design and features of the buses are finalised by keeping in mind safety and easy access for passengers. Two staircases and two entrances will help in smooth movement of passengers while boarding and alighting,” said a senior BEST official.

BEST double-decker buses were introduced in 1937 and gained popularity both among commuters and tourists in Mumbai. With an initial fleet of 141 in 1947-1948, it grew to 882 by 1993. At present, there are only 120 double-decker buses in a fleet of over 3,500 buses operating on seven routes in the city.

In 2018, BEST administration had planned to scrap them as they require twice the time for maintenance than a single-decker bus. However, the BEST committee had raised objections. The committee had assured that new double-decker buses will be procured as replacement of scrapped buses.

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