Bengaluru: After months of foot-dragging, the Centre has finally cleared subsidies for the city's e-buses project, bringing the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) a step closer to its ambitious plan of plying electric buses on the city’s roads. The first phase of this innovative transport initiative will see the introduction of 80 e-buses as early as this October.
BMTC has received central approval for a corpus of Rs 74 crores, with the first tranche of Rs 14 core rupee released. The private operator for the fleet of 150 e-bus will be Goldstone, a Hyderabad based company which emerged as the lowest bidder.
The transport corporation was initially expected to receive Rs 1 crore as subsidy per bus from the central government under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles India (FAME India). But this was later amended to Rs 1 crore for AC buses and Rs 73L for non-AC buses.
"BMTC has already identified several routes, which include airport services and IT corridors. So these are first routes which will be operated and then the service will be extended, "a senior official from BMTC told Deccan Chronicle.
The 12-metre-long electric buses will have 35 seats, and all the comforts of existing AC buses. They will be operated for 200 kilometres per day, so the trip will be planned accordingly. The Corporation will pay Rs. 37.50 per kilometre to the operator, which does not include the cost of power consumption. A bus operator will be appointed by the company. In the first step BMTC will be playing 60 AC bus and 20 non-AC buses in the next few days.
"Finally the BMTC is ready with their electric bus services. These buses not only help in improving the public transport but will also reduce the pollution level in the city," says Dr. Rakshith, a regular commuter.
BMTC has decided to open a bus charging point in two bus depots HSR Layout and Electronic City and also plans to open one at Bengaluru International Airport. A tender for new 500 electric buses will be called very soon....