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Saying Goodbye to Mumbai's Double Decker Buses

On September 15, 2023, Mumbai bid farewell to its beloved double-decker bus service, marking the conclusion of an extraordinary era. These cherished double-decker buses had been integral to Mumbai’s transportation system for more than 80 years, but their journey has reached its ultimate destination.

The story of Mumbai’s double-decker buses began in 1937 when the first one appeared on the city’s streets. As time passed, their fleet grew significantly, exceeding 900 buses by the mid-1990s. Regrettably, in more recent years, their numbers declined due to rising maintenance expenses and the rising preference for newer transportation options like air-conditioned buses and the Metro.

Despite their dwindling numbers, many Mumbaikars cherished the unique experience of riding on the upper deck, taking in panoramic city views. These buses also became cultural icons, featuring prominently in Bollywood films and songs.

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While the departure of these buses is met with sadness, it’s recognized that modernizing the city’s transport is essential. The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST), responsible for overseeing Mumbai’s bus services, has unveiled intentions to substitute them with electric double-decker buses that assure enhanced efficiency, eco-consciousness, and passenger comfort.

However, these electric double-deckers won’t fully replace the iconic red double-decker buses that have graced Mumbai for decades. These buses symbolize Mumbai’s rich history and culture, and their retirement marks the end of a significant era.

Memories of the Double-Decker Bus

For many people in Mumbai, the double-decker bus is more than just a way to get around. It’s a special part of their memories and makes them think of good times with loved ones. They remember happily riding on the upper deck with family and friends, enjoying the city air and the view.

These buses were also a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from around the world seeking the thrill of a ride. They were popular spots for Bollywood movies and songs, further solidifying their iconic status.

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The Future of Public Transportation in Mumbai

With the retirement of the double-decker bus, Mumbai enters a new era of public transportation. The city is investing in modern systems like the Metro and electric buses, offering efficiency and environmental benefits while easing traffic congestion.

Nevertheless, Mumbaikars will always cherish the double-decker bus as a symbol of the city’s rich history and culture, and its farewell signifies the close of a remarkable chapter.

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