If you grew up in Bengaluru in the 1990s you would remember riding the double-decker buses, with everyone rushing to grab the best seats on the top front deck. The double-decker buses might make a comeback to the city.
With the central government publishing specifications for double-decker buses, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is expected to buy four or five vehicles by the end of the year, the Times of India reported.
According to BMTC Managing Director, Ekroop Caur, the BMTC had not bought double-decker buses till now as there were no specifications laid down by the centre for such buses.
â€śWe may buy four or five double-decker buses by the end of 2017,â€ť he told TNM.
Caur said that in April 2016, the Automotive Research Association of India, the certified organisation to fix specifications in India, had come up with specifications for double-decker buses.
These buses were extremely common in Bengaluru from the 1970s to the late 1990s.
Double-deckers plied on different routes including Indiranagar to Kempegowda Bus Station, Shivajinnagar to KR Market, Kempegowda Bus Station to Jayanagar 4th Block, Gandhi Bazaar to Majestic and Jayanagar to Shivajinagar.
In the 1980s, a double-decker bus carrying schoolchildren turned turtle near Ramakrishna Mission, near Gandhi Bazaar. This was the turning point for the double-decker buses. The BMTC, which was then called the Bangalore Transport Service, gradually began taking off these buses from Bengaluruâ€™s streets, and by 1997 there was not a single double-decker in sight.
BMTC retained one double-decker bus, which was being used as a city tour bus till 2014. The Bengaluru Darshan bus takes tourists sightseeing around the Bull Temple, ISKCON Temple, Gavi Gangadeshwara Temple, MG Road, Tipu Fort, Ulsoor Lake and Vidhana Soudha.
BMTC has not yet decided whether double-deckers will be deployed for general services or if they would be restricted to tourism purposes.
Caur said that the narrow roads, overhead cables and canopies will disturb the movement of double-decker buses. The traffic density in the city is not feasible for a slow, large bus to ply on its streets any more.
â€śCanopies on the roads will obstruct the buses. Secondly, only some roads are wide enough for them to turn as their turning radius is more than that of ordinary buses. The routes in which these buses will ply have not yet been identified,â€ť Caur added.