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Mumbai: BEST’s new double-decker is too tall for old 310 route

Updated on: 30 November,2023 05:29 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

BEST plies AC double-deckers on restricted route, single-deckers on full route as the former face trouble navigating SCLR; commuters slam public transport provider for poor planning

Mumbai: BEST’s new double-decker is too tall for old 310 route

The BEST currently has 49 AC electric double-decker buses

Commuters on Bandra and Kurla bus stops were disappointed on the first day of the new swanky AC electric double-decker bus as it can neither go to Kurla station nor Bandra station or terminus, the original 310 route, on account of its height and other technical issues. The new AC electric double-deckers are taller than the old double-decker buses. In what is being termed a waste of resources, two different types of buses—10 new double-deckers on a limited route and the regular single-deckers on the full 310 route—have been pressed into service.

“Isn’t this a blunder? Don’t they realise that they are having to run two different sets of buses for the same route — one that ends mid-way and the other that plies on the remaining route where the double-decker can’t go?” said Raman Kumar Baneshwar, a regular commuter on the route.

“The actual rush is at Kurla and Bandra stations. If the new swanky buses do not go there, it is a waste of resources. How did this happen in the first place? The buses are customised for the BEST. The BEST should have studied the bus designs properly and asked manufacturing companies to maintain the height strictly as per the height of earlier buses,” said commuter Dr SN Gorakh.

Double-decker’s limited route

At the Kurla end, the double-decker bus takes a U-turn near BKC Telephone Junction and at the Bandra end, it terminates at the bus station opposite Bandra court. Despite these limitations, buses were filled during morning and evening rush hours. A separate set of single-decker buses picked up passengers from the crowded Kurla station.

“The height of the new AC double-decker bus is 4.75 m, while the height of the old double-decker was approximately 4.38 m. The problems are being witnessed at the two-deck bridge on Santacruz Chembur Link Road. Hence, the new double-deckers have been restricted till BKC MTNL bus stop,” a BEST official said. The buses are stabled at Kurla bus depot and Bandra station.

Also read: Mumbai: 200 BEST buses across city to be fitted with air filters

“The BEST Undertaking should request the team of Switch Mobility to decrease the height of the double-decker buses if possible for seamless operations. Otherwise, the BEST will need to return to the drawing table to reassess all its earlier doubledecker bus routes. That will be a massive task, a waste of resources and time-consuming,” said bus fan Shubam Padave.

“Apart from route 310 (Kurla-BKC-Bandra), the height limitation on the SCLR junction flyover will also impact the crowded double-decker routes 313 (Kurla-Santacruz) and 332 (Kurla-Andheri). Commuters on all routes will struggle to reach Kurla station West,” Padve added. Officials said that, currently, the BEST has 49 air-conditioned double-decker buses (including three in the registration process), with 25 operating in south Mumbai. There are plans to introduce the remaining 14 buses in the suburbs.

Height of the new AC double-decker

Height of the old double-decker

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