People’s Bus! Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation – One of India’s largest public transporters opens its 70-year-old archive

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A collage of buses
A collage of buses

Did you know that the good old state transport’s first bus was a wooden Bedford-class bus in sliver and blue colour or for the fact that it had a double decker bus, a deluxe bus, lorries and even a trailer double decker? Or the fact that state transport buses were manufactured for the military during the Indo-China war of 1962 and the Indo-Pak war of 1965?

A collage of the buses
A collage of the buses

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), one of India’s biggest public transport bus fleets, with over 70 years of existence has recently been quite a hit on social media for a very different reason.

It has opened up its 70-year-old archive into digital form terming it as “Vahan Nama” putting out old nostalgic photographs and authenticated information on every single class of buses that have been used.

“Yes. The Vahana Nama has been quite popular among bus lovers, commuters and fans. The photo collage and information of a 70 year journey has put many on a nostalgia trip. It’s a collection of pictures of ST busses from early 1948 to the recent times. The new generation that has seen more app-based travel tools and private busses has been really amazed to see the transformation of ST buses,” MSRTC managing director and vice chairman Shekhar Channe

“Every bus fan and many curious commuters always have such questions in the back of the mind like which year did the MSRTC bus launch, when did the first AC ST bus run and where did its double decker bus run? Vahan Nama answers all such questions The pictures of the vintage buses have picked up quite well by the social media,” a spokesperson said.

“Many unknown facts like use of double decker buses in semi-urban areas of Nashik and Bhiwandi, the use of first AC bus as early as 1968 and the use of ST buses during the war have come to limelight because of this archive on social media,” he said.

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First bus Bedford class, 1948

Highlights

  • 1948- June 1, first bus wooden Bedford class, petrol-driver with 30 seats, in silver and blue livery.

  • 1965- 2×2 seater first AC bus with a capacity of 30 passengers assembled at MSRTC workshop

  • 1965- MSRTC workshop had provided 80 buses to the defence department during the Indo-China and Indo-Pak wars.
  • 1967- Trailer double decker bus developed at MSRTC Dapodi workshop. This bus was used to run between Nashik station to Nashik township.

  • 1981- Regular double decker bus with a capacity of 90 passengers developed at MSRTC workshop used to run between Thane and Bhiwandi.

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