India’s first air-conditioned double-decker electric bus was inducted into the fleet of BEST- the civic transport public body in Mumbai. The wet-leased e-bus will be registered at the Regional Transport Office before it hits the road for the public. This air-conditioned double-decker electric bus is likely to ply on the routes in suburbs where conventional double-decker buses that run on diesel are currently operated.
Lokesh Chandra, general manager of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, informed that they are scheduled to receive 4-5 more double-decker air-conditioned e-buses in the next 8-10 days and a total of 20 such buses before March end from Switch Mobility, a subsidiary of automobile manufacture Ashok Leyland. The number of double-decker e-buses will reach 200 by this year-end.
India’s First AC Double Decker Electric Bus Introduced in Mumbai – Key Points
- Mumbai’s iconic double-decker bus has been introduced in public service in a new electric double-decker form.
- 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.
- According to BEST, the double-decker bus 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.
- The prototype air-conditioned e-bus of the county was unveiled on August 17, 2022, by Union minister Nitin Gadakari in Mumbai when BEST announced to introduce double-decker e-bus in public service in October 2022 after completing the certification and registration process.
- Switch Mobility executives informed that 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.