Mumbai: BEST shifting towards AC buses, likely to acquire 80% in e-buses by 2023

For the first time, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) has more than 42 percent of its fleet as air-conditioned buses. There are 3,415 buses in total, out of which 1,435 are AC buses.
In the next four months, 200 new AC buses will further arrive. This comes at a time when earlier this month the BEST started AC electric buses from Mumbai Airport.
For all these years, the contribution of AC buses was dismal. Over the past few months, the number of AC buses to have gone up to around 1,100 AC buses.
"Our AC fleet has touched 1,435 buses while there are 1,980 non-AC buses as of now. This is probably the first time our AC bus fleet has gone beyond 40 percent," said a BEST official on condition of anonymity.
The BEST is adding 200 AC electric double-decker buses to its fleet for which tenders have been called. This is part of their overall plan of getting 2100 AC e-buses.
The BEST is also intending to add 1,400 single-deckers AC e-buses, 400 midi AC e-buses, and 100 mini AC e-buses as well to their fleet.
Sources said that by 2023, the BEST is looking to run 80 percent of their buses on electricity and by 2027 all buses will become electric.
Almost a decade ago, King Long buses were plying. However, due to its poor maintenance and quality, there were a lot of complaints and gradually it went out of the fleet.
Meanwhile, recently two dedicated bus routes from the airport to south Mumbai and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) were introduced. They are also targetting Corporates and are in touch with the companies for whom AC buses are being planned.

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