Mumbai seems to be ready to time travel to the past as the city gears up to welcome the iconic Victorian carriages once again—this time, in a cruelty-free avatar. By Bayar Jain
Despite being a city of glitzy skyscrapers and towering skylines, part of Mumbai’s charm resides in its vintage past. The city’s South Mumbai area (or SoBo, lovingly) dons this very demeanour, courtesy Gothic and Victorian architectural styles and age-old structures canopied by trees. And soon, Victorian carriages will also meander through these bricked pathways.
According to an issued release by the Maharashtra’s Directorate of Tourism, iconic Victorian carriages will once again ferry the streets of South Mumbai. Dubbed as Victoria 2.0, these carriages—available in shades of red and black—will be devoid of any animal cruelty and will instead run on battery. The release notes that 12 such eco-friendly carriages will run between the city’s landmarks such as the Gateway of India, Marine Drive, and Nariman points. With this, the tourism board not only wishes to add another tourist attraction to the city, but also pay homage to Mumbai’s historical treasures and rich heritage.
Despite being draped in age-old undertones, Victoria 2.0 will come equipped with modern-day technologies. Think a bluetooth speaker, eco-friendly lithium-ion batteries, and GPS Intelligent Proximity Triggering dynamic software for multilingual commentary on the city’s marvels. “We are encouraging E-wallet payments through popular E-wallet platforms…[and] tying up with multiple platforms [for bookings],” adds Ketan Kadam, founder and CEO of UBO Ridez Pvt Ltd.
Keeping the raging pandemic in mind, sanitisation stands and thorough cleanliness after each ride will also be provided. Moreover, only six passengers and a carriage driver will be allowed to board at a time.
Currently, the Victorian carriages will run between 04:00 pm to 02:00 am everyday. Tickets for the same are priced at INR 500 for short rides and INR 750 for longer ones.