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Officials said that while it was once common in cities like Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi, Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai, it now only operates in Mumbai.
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According to officials, the bus, introduced in 1937, had the largest number of double-decker buses in Mumbai in 1990, and the number began to decline after 1995. By 2006, the city’s primary road transport service had just 225 double-decker buses.
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But today only around 50 are operating in the southern part of Mumbai and few are used to offer traditional tourism to tourists. These existing buses were introduced in 2007. Officials say they are also in a state of near-inefficiency.
Double tucker again…
Last week, India’s first electric air-conditioned double-decker bus was launched in Brahanmumbai. Best general manager Lokesh Chandra said it will hit the roads from September.
“In the 1990s, we had 900 double-decker buses. Now two bus contractors will supply over 900 electric double-deckers by the end of 2023. By the end of next year, we will be back to the 1990 level,” he said.
Mumbai is experiencing severe traffic congestion. A double tucker bus can carry 100 passengers at a time. BEST will improve ridership from 33 lakh passengers to 40 lakh per day. Double decker buses can carry 78 passengers and single decker electric buses can carry 54 passengers.
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The new electric AC double decker bus has a double door-stair structure, large windows, comfortable seats, charging points for CCTVs, phones and laptops.
Lease Mode Input:
The new electric buses are carried out on a wet lease basis. The contractors will take care of the staffing and maintenance costs, Chandra pointed out while launching the new double-decker last week.
The operating cost of existing buses is ₹150 per km. That is, the operating cost of double-decker and single-decker e-buses in the current lease model is ₹ 56 and ₹ 46 per kilometer respectively. This is about one-third of the total cost.
Apart from this, double decker earns ₹ 79 per km. Single decker buses only pay per km. It is hoped that this will increase the income.