The BEST has 120 double-decker buses in its fleet
MUMBAI: Nearly 60 double-decker buses will be back on city roads from Monday to cater to the increased passenger load with lockdown curbs relaxed under the state government’s Mission Begin Again campaign.
BEST double-deckers have a seating capacity for 90 passengers, but only 45 seated passengers will be allowed in each bus owing to social-distancing rules. A regular BEST bus is allowed to carry a maximum 25 seated passengers and five standees.
“The commuter strength in BEST buses is set to increase from 10 lakh to 15 lakh in a couple of weeks, and we need more buses to cater to the demand. We have already pressed 3,200 regular buses in service and it is time to deploy the double-deckers,” a BEST official said on Sunday.
The BEST also announced that it will launch several station feeder routes from this week, including buses outside CSMT and Churchgate station. This will enable the nearly 2.5 lakh essential workers travelling on Central Railway and Western Railway to board the buses for lastmile connectivity. Among the routes for doubledeckers are from CSMT to Nariman Point/Cuffe Parade, Colaba to Worli, and Andheri to SEEPZ. Of the 120 double-decker buses in the fleet, 60 will be pressed into service; the remaining will be deployed as per commuter demand.
Ajit Shenoy from Mumbai Mobility Forum suggested modifying the double-deckers by introducing another door in front of the bus. “It will ensure faster dispersal of commuters,” he added.