The Iconic double-decker buses of Mumbai will be closing their services after carrying customers for over 80 years. On Tuesday, the news came from a Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) official. The buses took a last ride after leaving Marol depot on Friday morning. These open-roof double-decker buses had become the symbol of Mumbai, and with touring in these buses, a Mumbai was considered completed.
"Currently, just seven double-decker buses, including three open-deck buses, are left in the BEST's fleet. As these vehicles are completing 15 years of their codal life, the double-decker buses will forever go off roads from September 15, while the open-deck buses will be pulled out on October 5," stated the BEST official.
From their introduction in the early 1900s, these buses had a fleet of 900, which gradually started decreasing after the 90's. From Bollywood, culture, daily commuting, and city tours, these buses remain integral to everything.
The company explained that maintaining these vehicles became a costly affair. And after a decision, introducing battery-operated black and red double-decker buses was suggested as the best option.
Many bus enthusiasts came forward and formed a group called "Aapli BEST Aaplyasathi". They said, "In 1964, trams disappeared from the city roads forever. The city had both single and double-decker trams, but not one of them was saved. Later, a tram was brought here from Kolkata for display purposes, but it corroded. Finally, it was repaired a few years ago and displayed at Boribandar."
BEST plans to procure new open-deck buses for sightseeing and, until then, will use the new battery-run double-decker e-buses for tourists.