If there's one thing about Mumbai that is as iconic as as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, it has to be the red double decker BEST busses.
However, these legendary busses will soon be discontinued and the only place you may see them, will be in popular movies and tv shows. The red double decker busses will be phased out slowly and here's why the future generation will never know the double decker BEST busses.
What's the update?
Once a staple of Mumbai and an iconic sight, the best busses are soon going to be discontinued. The already depleting fleet of double decker red busses that ply the streets of Mumbai, will be non-existent by 2023. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST), has planned to discontinue the legendary double decker busses because of the fact that these not only carry as may passengers as a regular bus but also require more money for maintenance.
According to reports, BEST has clarified that the passenger seating capacity of the double decker busses as approved by the road transportation authority is 88 only marginally higher than regular busses which have a seating capacity of 73 passengers. While when it comes to operational costs, a single decker bus requires approximately ₹126 per kilometre, while the double decker busses cost ₹200.5 per kilometre.
In addition to this, the double decker busses need wide roads with relatively less traffic to operate, which owing to the regular construction work and the increase in vehicular density has become a rare occurrence.
BEST has already stopped acquiring new double decker busses and started replacing the older ones with newer single decker busses.
The discontinuation of the double decker busses can only be termed as the end of an era. These busses have long since become a landmark of sorts, a tell-tale of the fact that you are actually in Mumbai. We're sure that Mumbaikars will miss these busses dearly and can only hope that the BEST keeps a few as part of the heritage of the city.