Mumbai to unveil AC double-decker buses in first week of August

The double-deckers will have a capacity of 78-90 passengers per bus that will start operating in the city by the first week of September 2022 after required testing and trials.

Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, July 15, 2022, 09:41 AM IST
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The first lot of 10 AC single-decker electric buses already reached in Mumbai and parked at Dharavi bus depot. These buses will be introduced in service very soon. | Representative

Mumbai's first electric AC double-decker e-bus is likely to be unveiled in August's first week to coincide with the BEST Foundation Day on August 7. As per the Supreme Court order on Thursday, BEST can now go ahead with the current deal on the procurement of 2100 single-decker electric buses. BEST will get over 25% of buses by year-end. The rest of the buses will be delivered in the next few years.

In addition to that, 900 air-conditioned double-decker e-bus contracts were already approved recently. Of these, 225 twin-deck buses are also expected in the current year. The double-decker e-buses will have a capacity of 78-90 passengers per bus. The first double-decker air-conditioned electric bus, which will be unveiled on August 7th, 2022, will start operating in the city by the first week of September 2022 after completion of required testing and trials.

As per the contract, Olectra Greentech will supply electric buses on the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) / Opex model for 12 years. "The Evey Trans Private Limited (EVEY), a subsidiary of Olectra, shall procure these 2,100 electric buses either directly by itself or through its Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) from Olectra Greentech," said a BEST senior official.

"Last year, BEST scrapped over 1200 buses. More than 200 buses will be scrapped this year. Hence, the introduction of more buses in the BEST fleet is essential for Mumbaikars, "adds the officer."

Lokesh Chandra, General Manager of BEST, said, "Not only will the frequency of bus services increase, but the comfort level of passengers will also improve after the introduction of new buses." Apart from this, several new routes will also be initiated in the city as per the demand and traffic load of passengers.

Earlier in April 2022, BEST had floated a tender inviting bids for the operation of State Carriage Services for the public transport of 1,400 + 700 single-decker air-conditioned electric buses in Mumbai and its extended suburbs on a gross cost contract model for 12 years. The tender of one of the bidders was rejected as the primary requirement of the tender document that the electric vehicle offered should run 200km on a single charge for a single-deck air-conditioned bus was not met. The court noted that this was an essential requirement.

Hence, the contract for 2,100 electric buses was awarded to Evey Trans. Later, this issue was challenged in court, and supply to these houses was stopped. BEST officials added that in the lot of 2100 single-decker electric buses, the first lot of 10 buses has already reached Mumbai. BEST plans to introduce these buses to the service very soon.

Existing number of buses

1. BEST Fleet- 3651

2. Air-conditioned- 1440

3. Double-decker- 45

4. AC Electric buses (EV)- 360

5. Non AC Electric Buses (EV)- 26

6. Diesel-operated- 822

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