“Finally it is February 2023 and BEST is back with the Double Decker AC bus for public commuting in the cheapest possible way. These Electric buses are the perfect travel option for pollution free and best for hot summer days in Mumbai.
18th August 2022, Finally the cheap cost yet luxury travel option was introduced. Mumbai’s BEST ‘Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport’ marked its first Double Decker Electric AC buses in India in this city. To be precise, It is the first of its kind of double-decker or Twin deck bus called ‘Switch EIV22’ by Ashok Leyland.
Was supposed to be open for the public to ride by September 2022, Yet with few delays, February 2023 brings in the very first bus that will run between Bandra, BKC, and Kurla. Below are some interesting facts and details about this new luxury public transport option in Mumbai.”
BEST buses started its first non-ac single deck service on 15th July 1926 between Afghan Church & Crawford market in Mumbai. Its first double-decker bus ran up on Mumbai roads in 1937. At a very early stage, Only Upper middle class and Elite class of city people use to travel via this buses.
Those were the days of bullock carts and trams and BEST was initially named ‘Bombay Electric Supply and Tramways’ which was later called ‘Bombay Electric Supply and Transport, And now it is called ‘Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport as BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) owned the same.
On the 18th of August 2022, First Red & Black, Fully Electric 650 volts, with 231 KW Liquid Cool High-Density Battery operated AC double-decker Electric buses has been introduced to Mumbai by BEST that can run for 200 to 250 km on one charge.
Updates February 2023
In 3rd week of February 2023, The first ride is going to be open to the public as initial trials of these buses are already been done. The required ARIA certifications, Permissions from the Mumbai Regional transport office have been taken.
The high-tech ticketing system will be installed at the entry which has a Tap-In Tap-Out scanner to get travel tickets. A minimum fare of Rs.6 will be applied on this AC pollution-free bus which is a big thumbs up.
By the end of February, about 5 to 7 such buses will be seen plying in South Mumbai. By March 2023, 20 such buses will hit Mumbai roads and a few in suburban too. By the time all 900 buses are ready, Major city and Suburban will have those beautiful buses around major routes.
More on the upcoming ticketing services of Mumbai is One card ticketing systems for Mumbai Metro & BEST buses.
Everything is digital inside and not just the display board on the front & side. A perfect eco-friendly ride that can carry up to 65 to 69 passengers seating capacity giving a great city street view, No air and noise pollution, And relief during hot summer days.
According to me, Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Who is currently Minister for Road Transports & Highway in India is a gem of a person and a great visionary leader when it comes to the speedy development of not just city road transport but also major national highways and related infra. He is the person who when & researched about this bus in London, where it is called ‘MetroDecker’.
A world-class affordable road infra in India with minimum commuting time is one of his dream and irrespective of his political existence and supporting party, All major political leaders and parties support and appreciate his work. My sincere thanks to him for this bus to Mumbai.
Best About Electric AC Double Decker Bus
This bus has a total of 2 staircases to go to the upper deck, One from the front entry area behind the driver’s seat and the other from the rear like other regular buses. Both have ladders with nice steel rod handles for support while the bus is in motion.
The rear ladder area which goes to the upper deck also has an LED tube that helps commuters during dark times like late evenings and during monsoon season. The driver seat is very comfortable with large front view glass, perfect side mirrors, and upgraded technology switches to operate doors and other things like AC temperature cooling, Lights, etc.
BEST has Retained the branding color of the Red & Black combination and the logo on the side of all these double-decker buses. The driver control area also has a Screen display that shows the inside CCTV view and also helps resolve the reverse parking problems which required another person. For some, every bus has been equipped with 4 parking Sensors in the lower area and a camera on the top area on the backside. Adjacent to the driver’s seat there is also a first aid box and an emergency glass-breaking hammer.
Starting in September, the First lot of a total of 225 buses will hit Mumbai roads before 2022 ends and the next 225 buses will be ready by early 2023. The remaining buses of the total 900 new electric AC double-decker buses will hopefully reach BEST depots before 2023 ends.
Talking about Cheap travel options in Mumbai, BEST buses and Local trains have always been on top. Recently, BEST took up a great decision to reduce the ticket cost for all the AC 7 NON_AC buses in the city and Suburbans locations. Since then the total footfall of commuters has increased and has been proved to be a great relief to regular middle-class commuters’ pockets. Also might also like to know about BEST Bus related Complains.
Keeping up the motive of running not in a loss like the previous decade, The new AC double-decker electric bus fares are been planned accordingly, As known at the initial stage, Rs.6 for a Minimum 5 Km distance will be charged on all BEST bus routes.
The fun of riding and the main attraction for Non-Regular joy riders like me are also those large glass view areas on all sides and every seating of the bus. Talking about seating capacity, approximately 34 seatings on the Upper deck & 29 seats on the lower deck area is what I believe approximate it is. Riding on smooth south Mumbai roads or going through the hurdles of the yearly pothole bumps in Suburbans, This bus has enough ground clearance and well-built huge tires. The load is carried on Apollo tires 295/80:R:22.5. 152/148 mm which are been used.
Talking about Height and Length, This Bus is 8.7 meters in height & 9.4 meters in length. Compare to other regular Non-AC BEST buses, The ground clearance of this Electric vehicle seems a little less, But manageable enough for city roads and highways. Engines are designed to be located in the rear area so the engine emission sound can be heard from the outside.
Proper LED indicator lights are provided on the front, Rear, and side areas of the bus. As already said, a Reverse parking camera has been installed with 4 parking sensors which was a really important requirement for decades for all these public transport buses in Mumbai.
BEST AC & NON-AC, Old & New Buses
Hope this information was precise to my best knowledge which you can share with other bus lovers of Mumbai. You might also like to know about BEST Late Night buses, BEST Dedicated Corridor buses, Hybrid buses in BKC, Open Bus Tour, Ladies special buses, Ola Shutter buses and Airport BEST buses in Mumbai city.