Since its introduction even before India gained independence from the British, the red double-decker buses run by Mumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) have been a vital part of the city's public transport system.
The double-decker buses have been a part of several Bollywood and Hollywood films since 1937, and they have come to symbolise the city's character and play a significant role in the childhood memories of millions of people.
In its heyday, Mumbai had about 900 of these diesel-powered double-decker buses on the road. Later, due to a variety of factors, including their high running costs, the number of these buses decreased.
Since 2008, BEST has ceased accepting new double-deckers. In addition to transporting everyday commuters to and from work, BEST also ran three open-deck double-deckers that have been used for the past 30 years as sightseeing buses for visitors. A BEST representative stated that these buses will likewise be taken off the road by October 5.
The new electric double-decker buses will now be the only ones operated by the city. To continue the heritage, there are now 25 of them in use. Several passengers were moved to tears when they saw the double-decker buses running on fuel leaving the roadways.
Some people claim that the new electric double-decker buses lack charm among other things and are preferable to the older buses. We shall miss sitting in the front of the old buses and riding with the breeze from the open windows on our faces since the new double-decker e-buses are air-conditioned, said Harshad Joshi, an enthusiast.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today