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Business News/ News / India/  Goodbye to Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses! New electric version to be rolled in
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Goodbye to Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses! New electric version to be rolled in

Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses will be taken off the streets this week, along with open double-decker buses in October.

Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses to go off the streets this week. (Photo: Twitter)Premium
Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses to go off the streets this week. (Photo: Twitter)

Mumbai's iconic red double-decker buses will go off the streets this week, said an official from the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking said on Tuesday. Besides, the open double-decker buses will also disappear from the city in the first week of October. 

In an official statement, a BEST spokesperson said, “Currently, just seven double-decker buses, including three open-deck buses are left in the BEST's fleet."

"As these vehicles are completing 15 years of their coral life, the double-decker buses will forever go off roads from September 15, while the open-deck buses will be pulled out on October 5," the spokesperson said as quoted by PTI. 

Following this, commuter groups and bus enthusiasts have urged BEST to preserve at least two of these iconic vehicles at its Anik depot-based museum and have written to the Maharashtra CM, tourism minister, and the BEST administration.

Harshad Joshi, a bus enthusiast said, “As the new double-decker e-buses are air-conditioned, we will miss sitting in the front in the old buses and traveling with the breeze from the open windows on our faces."

“In 1964, trams disappeared from the city roads forever. The city had both single and double-decker trams, but not one of them was saved. Later, a tram was brought here from Kolkata for display purposes, but it corroded. Finally, it was repaired a few years ago and displayed at Boribandar," said Siddhesh Mhatre, the working president of ‘Aapli BEST Aaplyasathi’. 

At the beginning of the 1990s, the BEST had a fleet of around 900 double-decker buses, but the number gradually declined after the mid-90s.

Red double-decker buses have become symbolic of the city since its introduction in 1937. Interestingly, the buses have also been featured in Bollywood songs in Mumbai, PTI reported. 

After 2008, the BEST administration stopped inducting double-decker buses. In February this year, it started replacing these iconic buses with leased battery-run red and black double-decker buses. So far, about 25 buses have been introduced in the city. 

The BEST, last week, said it is going to procure open-deck buses for sightseeing and it has already started the process of acquiring them. Until then, the new battery-run double-decker e-buses will be operated for tourists. 


(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 13 Sep 2023, 01:08 PM IST
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