India's first AC double decker electric bus inducted in Mumbai | See photos
Mumbai: The new buses will be equipped with facilities like digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, live tracking, digital display, and a panic button for emergencies, among others
India's first air-conditioned double-decker electric bus was inducted into the fleet of Mumbai's BEST transport body on Monday.
Overall, Mumbai will receive a total of 200 e-buses by year-end.
Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of automobile manufacturer Ashok Leyland is the manufacturer of these buses.
Key features of Mumbai's AC double-decker electric bus:
The new e-bus has two doors and an equal number of staircases for accessing the upper decks.
The new buses will be equipped with facilities like digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, live tracking, digital display, and a panic button for emergencies, among others.
Fares: The fare of these buses will be the same which is applicable for single-decker AC buses.
The double-decker e-buses' passenger carrying capacity is almost double compared to their single-decker counterparts. The new buses have a seating capacity of 65 and including standing passengers, they can carry 90 to 100 passengers.
Last year in August, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari unveiled the prototype air-conditioned e-bus of the county when BEST announced the introduction double-decker e-bus in public service in October 2022 after completing the certification and registration process.
Switch Mobility executives said the certification was delayed mainly due to the revised certification process of the Centre. As the certificate was received from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), line production of the double-decker e-buses will be undertaken at a workshop in Patalganga in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.
About BEST civic transport body:
The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) operates less than 50 double-decker buses, including a few open-deck buses, that operate on diesel. Most of these buses are on the verge of the end of their Codal life (normal average life of machine/equipment as per working shift). Therefore, BEST has decided to introduce the double-decker e-buses on a wet lease wherein the maintenance of vehicles and the driver expenses are borne by private operators.
According to the BEST official, the transport body currently has 3,300 buses, including 400 single-decker e-buses, which transport around 34 lakh passengers daily. The BEST has planned to add 3,000 more e-buses including 900 double-decker e-buses in its fleet and awarded contracts.
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