Double-deckers start plying on Western Express Highway, too

Updated: 14 August, 2020 07:53 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

These buses cater to two routes - between Kala Nagar-Dindoshi and between Vile Parle-Borivli

A double decker bus at the Western Express Highway on Thursday. 
Pic/ Akhil Nagpal
A double decker bus at the Western Express Highway on Thursday. Pic/ Akhil Nagpal

THE city's iconic double-decker buses are set to ferry commuters all the way to and from Borivli. The BEST Undertaking said on Thursday that it is operating the buses on Western Express Highway along longer routes to cater to the increasing number of commuters. Earlier, it had allowed similar operations on the Eastern Express Highway till Mulund.

"As a part of Mission Begin Again, we are starting operations of double-decker buses on the Western Express Highway on route number 440 Limited. The buses will ply on two sections — between Kala Nagar and Dindoshi depot and from Hanuman Road in Vile Parle to Borivli station east," a senior official said.

On July 29, the undertaking had restored the longest bus route number 124 between Colaba and Worli and started operations on the eastern express highway on route number C24 that cates to Mulund.

Enthusiasts welcome move

mid-day, in its July 11 edition had highlighted how not running the double-decker buses amid COVID-19 is a mistake as they can be useful in following socialdistancing.

Bus fans and enthusiasts welcomed the move and said it was the right decision. "Both the highways in the city can accommodate 250 to 500 double-decker buses easily and we do not understand why the BEST undertaking is hell-bent on scrapping the buses," bus enthusiast Ninad Kabale said.

Another excited bus enthusiast, Akhil Nagpal, followed the double-decker on the Western Express Highway.

Officials said that in ordinary times, as compared to the RTO-permitted capacity of 51 passengers for single-decker buses, double-deckers can carry 88 passengers, including standees. In the social distancing era, though the passenger-carrying capacity has been reduced by half, double-deckers can still carry more passengers than single-deckers.

Introduced 83 years ago in 1937, the BEST as of today has just over 100 double-decker buses in its fleet of 3,500 buses.

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First Published: 14 August, 2020 07:27 IST

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