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BEST to hire 900 double decker AC buses

🔴 The proposal was approved in the BEST committee meeting on Tuesday wherein it was decided that the buses will be hired from a private operator for 12 years.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
January 26, 2022 1:45:38 am
Mumbai, Mumbai latest news, BRIHANMUMBAI ELECTRIC Supply and Transport, double decker buses, Mumbai double decker buses, Maharashtra latest news, indian expressWet lease is when apart from the vehicles, the drivers and maintenance are also provided by the operator. (Representational)

BRIHANMUMBAI ELECTRIC Supply and Transport (BEST), which runs bus services in Mumbai, will be getting 900 new double decker air conditioned (AC) buses on a wet lease basis. Wet lease is when apart from the vehicles, the drivers and maintenance are also provided by the operator.

This is the first time that BEST would be taking double decker buses on wet lease basis and these would be electric. The proposal was approved in the BEST committee meeting on Tuesday wherein it was decided that the buses will be hired from a private operator for 12 years.

Once the contract is signed, 25 per cent of buses will come in the first 12 months and remaining within 18 months. Earlier, BEST had planned to hire only 200 double decker buses. With 900 new buses, the capacity will increase manifold as double decker buses can anyway carry more passengers than single decker buses.

BEST’s iconic red double decker buses were started along the lines of London’s red double decker buses in 1937. However, there has been a decline in their numbers over the years and currently, there are only 48 double decker buses in BEST’s fleet against 900 in the 1990s.

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According to BEST officials, there are 3,377 buses in the fleet of which 1,524 buses are on wet lease. With the addition of these 900 double decker buses, the buses on wet lease would be 2,424, more than 50 per cent of the total fleet.

Drivers in these buses would be provided by the private operator who will also maintain the buses. BEST will be paying the operator at Rs 56.40 per kilometre.

“Once these new buses are added in the fleet, the old ones would be scrapped,” said an official.

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