Mumbai is the only major city where these double-deckers are still in service. But are you aware- “Mumbai’s Double decker buses are back with a new look & in a new form!” Read to know more.
What “BEST” officials states about double decker buses?
The recognizable double-decker buses of Mumbai are about to return to service in an electric form. Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) officials predicted that by the end of the year, their numbers will match the peaks of the 1990s.
According to officials, these double-deckers were formerly present in Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Chennai. However, they state that the financial capital is the sole major location where they are still in operation. Before the numbers began to decline after 1995, BEST had the most double-decker buses. As losses grew and operational expenses increased, the city’s top road transportation service had 225 double-deckers by 2006.
There are still about 50 of them in Mumbai, with the majority of them operating in the southern part of the city. Other existing buses serve as guides for visitors on historical excursions.
The Very First Launch in India
India’s first electric air-conditioned double-decker bus was shown last week. ” BEST” general manager Lokesh Chandra promised that it would start travelling the country’s highways in September.
What Lokesh Chandra has to say about?
By the end of 2023, two bus vendors will provide BEST with 900 electric double-deckers. Chandra(GM of BEST) said, ” We had more than 900 double-decker buses in the 1990s. By the end of next year, we’ll be back there”.
Double-deckers with a length of 10.5 meters can transport 100 passengers. This is in contrast to the load that regular buses can carry. The BEST GM gave a statement: When smaller buses were introduced, we lost lakhs of passengers. Furthermore, he stated, “These double-deckers would regain the daily carrying capacity of 1.5 lakh seats.”
Features of new “double decker Buses”
The new electric AC double-decker bus has a plethora of features. This includes a dual door-stairway configuration, larger windows, bucket seats, CCTVs, charging ports for computers and smartphones, and public address systems.
Commencing with those that resembled London’s Routemaster in appearance, they had a single passenger cabin and a sloping engine roof. Over the years, double-deckers have seen some design alterations.
Sunil Ganacharya, a former member of the BEST Committee, the Undertaking’s policy-making body, commented on the fall in the number of these vehicles. He states, “Operational expenses were a big concern because it required the deployment of two conductors as well as increased diesel
Moreover, the fall in numbers was also brought on by manufacturers’ ceasing to produce these double-decker buses.
During the unveiling of the new double-decker last week, BEST GM Chandra said—”Contractors are responsible for the expense of personnel and maintenance.” In support of this, he said, “This happened because the new electric buses are arriving as part of a wet lease arrangement.”
He said that although the double-decker and single-decker e-buses on wet lease models cost 56 and 46 dollars per kilometre, respectively, the operational cost of their conventional buses is 150 dollars per kilometre.
Capacity and Charges
According to the authorities, “the capacity of double-decker buses is 78 people, while that of single-deck electric buses is 54 passengers. A double decker bus generates Rs. 79 of income every kilometre, compared to Rs. 43 for a single decker bus.