Mumbai's double-decker buses will make their last journey on September 15, with Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) planning to phase out the remaining five buses in its fleet.

Additionally, open-deck double-deckers, which are popular among tourists for leisure rides along the Gateway of India and Marine Drive.

According to an official statement, BEST intends to introduce electric air-conditioned double-deckers on tourist routes, and plans to add 18 more air-conditioned double-deckers to its fleet, including 10 for suburbs and 8 for south Mumbai. Have been allocated for. near future.

Historian Deepak Rao reflected on the changing times and recalled that at one time double-decker buses dominated city roads, while single-decker buses were mainly used in the suburbs.

He further said, at one point, the double-decker bus fleet numbered up to 242. However, the gradual closure of these buses marks the end of an era. Rao also expressed preference for the older non-air-conditioned double-deckers, and hoped that BEST might consider reintroducing a small fleet of such buses.

Over the years, the quantity of the double-decker fleet has decreased, falling to 122 in 2010 and to 120 in 2017. BEST had earlier proposed in its annual budget for 2019 to scrap 72 double-deckers by 2020-21, leading to the eventual reduction of the fleet.

A group of people arranged for a joyride on a double decker to South Mumbai via the Bandra-Worli sea link on July 8, enjoying the scenic routes along Marine Drive and the Gateway of India.

Mumbaikars stressed the nostalgia associated with these beloved Mumbai buses and expressed regret over their retirement.

Another passenger, Ninad Kulkarni, remembers the unique experience of sitting in the front row on the upper deck, feeling the breeze and enjoying the panoramic view of Marine Drive. A senior BEST official hinted at the possibility of considering reintroducing a small fleet of double-deck buses in the future.


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