In a bid to boost tourism in the city, BEST on Wednesday announced its decision to launch a special fleet of 10 'Ho-Ho' buses in Mumbai soon. Reportedly, the buses were shown a green by the BEST Committee on Tuesday after the clearance of a long-pending proposal, positioning their launch just in time for the festive season. Labelled as the Hop on-Hop off services, these buses will primarily cater to travellers and tourists, enabling a premium yet economic means of travel for them.
Exploring Mumbai has never been this convenient!
Mumbai has an elaborate and integrated BEST bus network, which includes special numbered buses on special routes and while this spells ease for regular traffic, the same cannot be said about the tourists. Set against this backdrop, the Ho Ho Services aim to open up the convenience of luxury AC e-buses for travellers, enabling them to explore the city better, without having to worry about ferrying the right bus.
The Ho-Ho service will include 10 buses which will shuttle every 30-minutes between Juhu Chowpatty and the city's iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), every day from 9 AM to 8 AM. As informed by the officials, the Ho-Ho Mumbai Tourism Buses will be drastically different from any regular buses or private services in Mumbai.
"In Ho-Ho, the tourists can get off at any spot en route, go around as much as they want and hop onto the next service to go to the next destination, on the same ticket," Varade explained. The ticket fare for a day-long tour will be priced at ₹250 per head where the passenger can board any service, from any part of the city.
The Ho-Ho Bus Map
These buses will ply on a special route, passing through all tourist-worthy destinations and significant landmarks in Mumbai, between the Juhu Chowpatty in the western suburbs to CMST in the island city. Reportedly, the Hop on-Hop off services will halt at the Veermata Jijabai Zoo, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Juhu Garden, the famed Juhu Beach, Bandra Bandstand, Shri Siddhivinayak Temple, Nehru Planetarium, the historic Girgaum Chowpatty, Taraporewala Aquarium and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum.
Tourists abroad these buses can enjoy the scenic beauty of Mumbai, the city's golden skyline, the Mumbai BMC Headquarters, Gloria Church, Bandra Reclamation, the residences of some of the top Bollywood actors, Linking Road, Juhu Tara Road, Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link, Haji Ali sea mausoleum, Pedder Road, Babulnath Temple, Wankhede (cricket) stadium, the business hub of Nariman Point and finally Mantralaya.
Other bus services for tourists & travellers
It may be noted that the Ho-Ho buses are neither the first nor the only special bus services aligned for the benefit of tourists in Mumbai. BEST had previously launched a special limited hour tourism service to take tourists to iconic landmarks of the city. It had also recently revived the open-deck BEST buses, specifically to conduct Mumbai-darshan for the travellers.
These services launch from the Gateway of India at 5, 6:30 and 8 PM to take the passengers through specific locations in South Mumbai. Ticket charges for these buses are marked at ₹150 for the upper deck and ₹75 for the lower carriage.