BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) has decided to enhance the Mumbai darshan service by acquiring new double-decker open-deck buses. Currently, BEST operates three open deck buses for this service, but they have nearly reached the end of their 15-year lifespan, with the last one scheduled to be retired on October 5, as per government regulations.
For over two decades, BEST has been offering tourists the Mumbai darshan, taking them to iconic places like Mantralaya, Vidhan Bhavan, CSMT, BMC, Hutatma Chowk, RBI, Prince of Wales Museum, Asiatic Library, Old Custom House, NCPA, Marine Drive, Girgaon Chowpatty, Churchgate Station, Oval Ground, High Court, and Mumbai University.
“The introduction of open deck buses in 1997 in collaboration with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation has been a hit among Mumbaikars and tourists alike. Due to the positive response, BEST has now initiated the procurement process of new open-deck double-decker buses to continue providing this unique experience,” said an official of BEST.
When asked about the number of busses and time period, the official said, “We just decided about procurement to continue Mumbai darshan service, the number of buses is yet to be finalised.”
According to a senior official 200 to 250 people take these buses daily. It’s a hit during festive seasons and evening hours. Over the years, the number of these buses has come down from five to three.
Of the remaining three, the first open deck bus will be scrapped on September 16, the second on September 25 and the final one on 5 October, as per the schedule
“To ensure uninterrupted service during the procurement process, BEST is also promoting air-conditioned double-decker electric buses for Mumbai darshan. These buses, which are eco-friendly with no noise or air pollution, will operate on weekdays and weekends, offering passengers the convenience of automatic entry from both sides, CCTV security, and mobile charging facilities,” he added.