January 1, 2022 1:02:00 am
AFTER FAILING to run the Hop-on, Hop-off tourist buses for almost five years since they were procured, the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), is now getting ready to run the service in Mumbai again.
Eleven Hop-on, Hop-off open deck double-decker buses were purchased by the MTDC in 2016 by spending Rs 8 crore. However, they are lying unused at the Santacruz bus depot for the past couple of years.
The MTDC is now planning to start tours in Mumbai through AC Ho-Ho buses in partnership with a private operator. The proposed Ho-Ho bus tours will be branded as ‘Maharashtra Unlimited.’
According to officials, as part of its strategy to enhance tourist facilities in Maharashtra, MTDC wishes to run Ho-Ho buses with modern amenities in Mumbai and its objective is to promote tourism targeting high-end tourists and provide world class travelling experience.
MTDC will be providing 11 buses to the operator which will be customized with MTDC’s specification including the seats, interiors and exteriors, an official said. These buses, which have a passenger capacity of 40, will have chemical toilet, pantry (microwave oven, coffee maker), GPS tracking devices, WiFi, music system and half upper open deck for sightseeing.
“Mumbai has beautiful beaches, monuments, world heritage site and cultural and religious monuments. Considering all these destinations, the tour plan will be prepared which the operator will follow. We have already started the bidding procedure to select the operator and have invited proposals from private operators,” said an official.
Recently, Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST), had started the Ho Ho electric and air-conditioned bus services between CSMT and Juhu.
In the Ho Ho service, a passenger can alight at any bus stand and after sightseeing can board another bus on the same route using the same ticket.
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