The city of Mumbai has been in a state of panic since the Brihanmunbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking introduced two buses featuring a new colour scheme.
The iconic red and silver buses are an integral part of the city, and have been most famously associated with the colour red. (As have buses in many cities around the world.)
On April 27, BEST introduced the two new buses on a trial basis – one of them air-conditioned – painted white, with yellow stripes. The new colour scheme was designed by students and a Professor from the JJ School of Art, who consider it a neutral choice, “peaceful in the chaotic landscape of Mumbai” according to Santosh Kshirsagar, Dean of the institute, to The Times of India.
According to BEST officials, though, a survey they have been conducting has shown that an overwhelming number of commuters still prefer the iconic red. Sunil Ganacharya, BEST committee member, told Mumbai Mirror that “90% of commuters have favoured the original red colour. I, too, prefer it that way. The red BEST bus is iconic and an integral part of Mumbai’s identity.”
BEST regulars also felt that the new white and yellow colour scheme is not suitable for the monsoons and spitters, and may be hard to maintain.
It will take much more than a change of colour for BEST to turn its financials around. BEST Committee chairperson Mohan Mithbavkar told Mumbai Mirror, “The quality of the buses will improve. There will be massive reorganisation of routes and loss-making ones will be scrapped.”
Other measures for the revamp include free Wi-Fi, entertainment options, cheaper tickets, real-time location updates, and estimated time of arrival.