MUMBAI: The first lot of disabled-friendly buses were put into service on Thursday by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST).
The five buses with special wheel chair-accessible low floors were introduced in accordance with a Mumbai High Court order. The remaining 25 buses will be introduced shortly.
An order for these buses has been placed with Tata Motors on the basis of competitive bidding.
The BEST had launched a prototype of the wheel chair-accessible low floor bus on 3 May 2005.
The bus had a low floor height of 380mm from the ground, a 70mm kneeling facility on the left side to bring down the floor height to 310 mm at the entrance/ exit and a manually operated light-weight and slip-resistant ramp for moving the wheel chairs across. It also has an extra wide middle door with a width of 1,000mm, compared to regular buses, which generally have doors 850mm wide. The bus can accommodate two wheel chairs at a time.