AC buses
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Would you like to have an AC bus that costs the city Rs 1.67 crore each? Well, this is a question transport authorities are asking, even as the BEST is mulling over the idea.

The busses, to be operated by BEST will be AC, 32 seater. Low-floor, hybrid-electric busses that will run in BKC in it’s first phase said a report by the Times of India.

Transport activist Jagdeep Desai said, "The hybrid buses are way too costly,  and, given the number of autos and private buses in BKC, they may not be a big draw.” He added that two regular AC busses could have been bought for the same amount that would have been half the price and ferried double the number of people.  

The busses will be procured by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) that will hand them over to the BEST to run them between Bandra and Sion/Kurla stations via BKC, a schedule that was made to cater to thousands of office goers and people who visit government offices and family court.  The minimum fare will be Rs 15 and maximum Rs 25 said an MMRDA official.

Also read: Mumbai: Brand new AC BEST buses to be rolled out on Independence Day

In a statement  commuter rights activist G R Vora said, "The cost is exorbitant and totally unwarranted. Why can't MMRDA encourage BEST to run its existing AC buses that are lying idle at depots on the short stretch from Bandra to BKC and from BKC to Kurla? This would have been a cheaper option and also generated revenue for BEST."

To justify the cost a senior MMRDA official said, "The new design, special features, CCTV cameras, free wifi and more importantly, the hybrid-electric advanced technology is what makes these buses expensive. It will be the first-of-its-kind public transport service in Mumbai where commuters will enjoy a stylish, comfortable, safe and eco-friendly ride."

The manufacturer of the bus, Tata Motors said, "Developed indigenously, the Tata Starbus hybrid-electric bus is economically viable, with improved 25-30% fuel savings, huge reduction in carbon emissions in comparison to conventional buses and runs on pure electric mode for 30-35% of the total travel distance."

Also read: Mumbai: Soon, you can track your AC bus ride on mobile app

The new busses have state-of-the-art facilities like wide passageways for passengers free movements, wider window panes for better visibility and wider doors. What’s more, it also has lower floors to allow passengers to board and alight easily. The bus will also have CCTV cameras and ITS (intelligence transport system) that will allow for public announcements and will indicate the estimated time of arrival and route information.

The lady later admitted that she had made a mistake in identifying the body.

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