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Mumbai: India’s first double-decker AC electric bus unveils by Union Minister of Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari

Mumbai: Union Minister for Road, Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today launched India's first electric double decker bus in Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries attended the event. The double-decker bus, called Switch EiV 22, will start operating from the month of September.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Mumbai: Union Minister for Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today launched India’s first electric double decker bus in Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries attended the event. Two new electric buses, including the first air-conditioned double-decker bus in the country, will join the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) fleet. The double-decker bus, called Switch EiV 22, will start operating from the month of September.

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Pictures and videos of black and red double decker bus and blue color single decker bus have gone viral on social media. Gadkari took to Twitter to announce the launch. “Ushering Sustainable Revolution! It gives me immense pleasure to launch the Ashok Leyland’s Electric Double Decker Bus in Mumbai today,” he wrote.

He further tweeted, “Giving Dynamic Boost to the sustainable transportation sector, such initiatives are cost-effective solutions & achieve PM Shri @narendramodi Ji’s vision of #AatmanirbharBharat by cutting down oil imports and promoting indigenous resource & services.”

This double-decker bus has been developed by Switch Mobility, the electric vehicle (EV) arm of Ashok Leyland, the flagship company of the Hinduja Group. These buses will replace the existing double-decker fleet of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, the public transport arm of the Mumbai civic body. According to the statement released by the company, “Switch EiV 22 is equipped with the latest technology, ultra-modern design, highest safety and best-in-class comfort features.” The statement further added, “The renewed iconic double-decker bus is designed to revolutionise public transportation in the country and will set new standards in the intra-city bus market.”.

BEST has awarded a contract to a private company to supply 900 electric buses in phases. Of these, 50 per cent buses are expected to arrive by March 2023 and the remaining 50 per cent after that.Public transport service provider in Mumbai plans to launch premium app-based public transport in the city. Officials said that passengers will have to book their seats through the mobile application and they may have to pay a higher fare for this premium service as compared to conventional buses.

BEST is the second largest mode of public transport in Mumbai after suburban trains which carry more than 75 lakh passengers daily. BEST ferrying over 3 million passengers every day with a fleet of around 3,700 buses.

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