India gets its first AC electric double-decker bus in Mumbai, inducted into BEST fleet

India gets its first AC electric double-decker bus in Mumbai, inducted into BEST fleet

India gets its first AC electric double-decker bus in Mumbai, inducted into BEST fleet

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After a months-long delay, the country’s first air-conditioned electric double-decker bus was inducted into the fleet of BEST, Mumbai’s public civic transport body, on Monday, officials said.


The hired e-bus with crew will be registered with the Regional Transport Office before hitting the road for the public. This bus is likely to run on suburban routes where conventional diesel-powered double-decker buses currently run.

Lokesh Chandra, General Manager of Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) company, said they are expected to receive another 4-5 double-decker air-conditioned electric buses in the next 8-10 days and a total of 20 buses from this kind. before the end of March from Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of car manufacturer Ashok Leyland. The number of double-decker electric buses will reach 200 by the end of the year, he added.

“Today is a historic moment. Mumbai’s iconic double-decker bus is being introduced into public service in a new electric double-decker form. Very soon, this bus will be dedicated to the public,” Chandra said, adding that these buses will be operated on the traditional double-decker bus routes in South Mumbai and the city’s suburbs.

Unlike conventional double-decker versions, the new e-bus has two doors and an equal number of stairs to access the upper decks. The new buses will be equipped with facilities such as digital ticketing, CCTV cameras, live tracking, digital signage and a panic button for emergencies among others.

The fare for these buses will be the same as for AC single-decker buses.

According to BEST, the passenger-carrying capacity of double-decker electric buses is almost twice that of their single-decker counterparts. The new buses have a seating capacity of 65 and, including standing passengers, they can carry 90 to 100 passengers.

The county air-conditioned e-bus prototype was unveiled on August 17, 2022 by Union Minister Nitin Gadakari in Mumbai when BEST announced the introduction of the double-decker e-bus in public service from Mumbai. October 2022 after completing the certification and registration process. .

Switch Mobility executives said certification was delayed primarily due to the Center’s revised certification process.

As the certificate was received from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the line production of the electric double-decker buses will be undertaken at a workshop in Patalganga in the Raigad district of Maharashtra.

Currently, BEST operates less than 50 double-decker buses, including a few open-deck buses, which run on diesel. Most of these buses are about to reach the end of their Codal life (normal average life of machinery/equipment by shift). Therefore, BEST decided to introduce the electric double-decker buses for rental with crew, in which vehicle maintenance and driver costs are borne by private operators.

Chandra said BEST currently has 3,300 buses, including 400 electric single-decker buses, which carry about 34 lakh passengers daily. BEST planned to add 3,000 more electric buses, including 900 double-decker electric buses, to its fleet and won contracts.

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