The BEST public bus service will venture big time into city tourism by launching ‘Hop On-Hop Off’ bus services soon, officials said here on Wednesday.
A long-pending proposal to the effect was cleared by the BEST Committee late on Tuesday – and the services are likely to “start very soon”, BEST Spokesperson Manoj Varade told IANS.
For the Ho-Ho Mumbai Tourism, the BEST will deploy a fleet of around ten plush, air-conditioned, electric buses, operating every 30 minutes simultaneously on the Juhu Chowpatty-Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The services shall start at 9 a.m. and continue till 8 p.m. daily, catering to domestic or foreign tourists, for an eye-full of some of the most significant landmarks of the country’s commercial capital.
The tickets for the day-long tour will be Rs 250 per head which can be utilised on any of the Ho-Ho Mumbai Tourism buses.The Ho-Ho Mumbai Tourism buses will ply from CSMT and halt at Veermata Jijabai Zoo, Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Juhu Garden, the famed Juhu Beach, Bandra Bandstand, Shri Siddhivinayak Temple, Nehru Planetarium, the historic Girgaum Chowpatty, Taraporewala Aquarium and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum.
En route, the tourists can enjoy the sights and skyline of Mumbai BMC Headquarters, Gloria Church, Bandra Reclamation, the residences of some of the top Bollywood actors, Linking Road, Juhu Tara Road, Rajiv Gandhi Bandra Worli Sea Link, Haji Ali sea mausoleum, Pedder Road, Babulnath Temple, Wankhede (cricket) stadium, the business hub of Nariman Point and finally Mantralaya.
An official said that earlier, the BEST had launched special limited hour tourism services to see some of the iconic landmarks of Mumbai which are illuminated.
Recently, it has re-launched the open-deck BEST services for tourists in specified locations in south Mumbai with services operated from Gateway of India at 5, 6.30 and 8 p.m. daily, and ticket rates of Rs 150 for upper and Rs 75 for lower deck seats.
Varade said that Ho-Ho Mumbai Tourism would be drastically different from the regular city tourist buses of private players.
“In Ho-Ho, the tourists can get off at any spot en route, go around as much as they want and hop onto the next service to go to the next destination, on the same ticket,” Varade explained.