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Old 4th December 2019, 17:33   #1
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Default Mumbai's iconic double decker buses to be phased out by 2023

BEST has announced that 60% of its double-decker fleet is likely to be scrapped in a year, to be replaced with single-decker buses. The undertaking at present has 120 double-decker buses, only 48 of which will remain.
72 buses will be off the road by December 2020, and remaining 48 by October 2023.

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Double-decker buses were introduced in Mumbai in 1937 as horse-drawn vehicles, BEST being the first transport undertaking in the country to have them. The first stage of motorisation was to replace the horses with engines on wheels, the passenger units being trailers. The maximum size of the double-decker fleet was in 1947, at 242.

Commuters and transport experts aren’t happy with BEST’s announcement to curtail its doubledecker fleet. They say doubledeckers have the advantage of carrying more passengers while occupying the same road space as a single-decker bus and suggest that doubledeckers should ply on arterial roads during rush hour.
“If the buses have completed their life spans, BEST should procure new double-deckers. BEST authorities should ensure that these iconic buses are visible on the road,” said Vikas Pednekar, who regularly commutes by bus in south Mumbai.
But BEST says doubledeckers are loss-making. “You need two conductors to run each bus. The operational cost is nearly 1.5 times that of a normal bus. It consumes more fuel. Another problem is that double-decker buses cannot ply on all roads as unlike single-decker buses, they can’t be made to take sharp turns, as doing so is risky because of stability factors,” a BEST official said.

City historian Deepak Rao said the buses have their own charm. “A few decades ago, double-deckers dominated roads in the island city, while single-deckers were primarily operated in the suburbs. This was when the double-decker fleet was well over 200. Sadly, the fleet has been trimmed over the years and only 120 buses remain. BEST should ignore losses and preserve the buses for their heritage value,” he said. Rao recalled how in the past he would take his friends from abroad on a doubledecker from Sassoon Dock, showing them Colaba, Regal, the museum, Fountain, CSMT, Crawford Market and the Metro cinema area. “It was Mumbai darshan for my friends and the upper deck front window seat was a pleasure,” he recounted.
At present, double-deckers ferry passengers on 16 routes, with good ridership on busy routes like CSMT to Nariman Point, Colaba to Worli, and Kurla to Santacruz. One of the most popular routes is CSMT to Backbay depot, which goes through Marine Drive.
Transport activist A V Shenoy from Mumbai Mobility Forum said at least 100 double-deckers should be preserved. “These buses mean nostalgia,” he said. “You just need to modify the design a bit to allow entry/exit from two doors, by introducing another door in the front of the bus. It will ensure faster dispersal of commuters.”.
Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/m.times...w/72357538.cms
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Last edited by ruzbehxyz : 4th December 2019 at 17:56.
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Old 4th December 2019, 22:53   #2
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Default re: Mumbai's iconic double decker buses to be phased out by 2023

Quite sad news. Double deckers were part of my childhood - though I must say the buses I used the most then were trailers, which were scrapped a couple of decades ago (or more). We used 6Ltd for our trips from Chembur to VT or even Electric House - to watch English movies in the hep townie theatres like Sterling, Eros or Strand; 351 for shopping trips to Dadar TT and 381 ( a non trailer) for trips to my aunt’s place in Ghatkopar. And later in my college days, trips sitting in the front row of any bus, esp the route that plied down Marine Drive to Tardeo were a real pleasure. Time to catch one last ride in the front row of a double decker before they are scrapped.
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Old 5th December 2019, 10:25   #3
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Default Re: Mumbai's iconic double decker buses to be phased out by 2023

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Originally Posted by Hayek View Post
Quite sad news. Double deckers were part of my childhood - though I must say the buses I used the most then were trailers, which were scrapped a couple of decades ago (or more). Time to catch one last ride in the front row of a double decker before they are scrapped.
Double decker buses were a part of my School and College life in Bengaluru, they were phased out from the city. Its sad that Mumbai is following the same trend. The first time I visited Mumbai in 2016 I took a ride to have an experience of the past.
If I am luck enough I may visit Mumbai and take a ride in the double decker bus before the last one is off the road.

Last edited by Sheel : 5th December 2019 at 10:59. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Thanks.
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