Mumbai Will Have Electric Double Decker Buses! BEST Acquires 900 Electric Double Decker Buses
The double-decker buses that were once the charm of Mumbai will now begin running on the roads of the city again!
As confirmed by the newest reports, the BEST has now cleared the contract to acquire 900 AC electric double decker buses.
Double decker buses have been running in Mumbai since 1937.
Read on to find out all the details about BEST’s plan to run double decker buses.
Double Decker Buses To Run In Mumbai Again
It was back in 2018 when the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking decided to phase out the double decker buses by 2023. Apparently, the BEST found it difficult to run the buses due to increasing operational costs.
However, the plans seem to have changed now, as the BEST has cleared the contract to acquire 900 AC electric double decker buses.
As of now, there are only 48 two-tiered vehicles, and the number was 120 previously. And now, the Committee has approved the induction of 900 air conditioned double decker electric buses on wet lease.
For those unaware, a wet lease is when drivers and maintenance are also provided apart from the vehicles. The project will also cost the undertaking over Rs. 3600 crore.
Additionally, Rs. 992 crores have already been approved to the BEST under the Maharashtra Clean Air Project for procuring e-buses. Initially, this money will be used to procure the double decker buses.
As confirmed by BEST General Manager Lokesh Chandra, the first lot of 225 double deckers will be launched this year and the next 225 buses will be rolled out by March 2023. The remaining 450 will be launched by June 2023.
The Great Challenge
As we reported earlier, The cities that will be covered under the ‘Great Challenge’ are Banglore, Delhi, Surat, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. This will be the first phase. The first set of e-buses are expected to be on the road by July of this year.
Through the ‘Great Challenge,’ the aim is to deploy around 5,450 single decker buses and 130 double decker buses.
In January, the state-run Convergence Energy Ltd. (CESL) launched the biggest tender ever of about Rs. 5,500 crore to produce around 5,580 electric buses which include 130 double deckers.