The government has decided to replace scrapped buses with electric buses. Each year, up to 400 buses are scrapped in the state.
Along with the impetus of the central government, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), in view of rising pollution levels and skyrocketing fuel prices, decided to acquire electric buses.
As part of the larger project, an electric mini bus acquired under the Smart City project will be used in Bangalore on an experimental basis. No less than 90 buses will be added to the Bengaluru Metropolitan Corporation (BMTC) on a phased basis by November. Chief Minister Basavarj Bommai will inaugurate the services, said Transport Minister B. Sriramulu.
These 90 buses will be acquired as part of the Smart City project at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) will maintain these buses for 10 years. BMTC will pay Rs 51.62 per kilometer. The cost of the driver, maintenance and recharging will be covered by NTPC. The Department of Transportation also signed an agreement to run electric buses a minimum of 180 kilometers per day as a metro service in Bangalore.
Buses need to be recharged after traveling 120 kilometers and it will take 45 minutes for a bus to be fully recharged. Currently, the electric bus will be put into service at Bangalore metro stations at various locations.
Sriramulu explained that the electric bus experiment is underway for the first time in the state. These vehicles are a necessity to avoid pollution. In November, 90 electric mini buses (9 meters long) will be put into service and these buses will be able to circulate on the narrow roads of the city.
The BMTC board is also considering purchasing 300 electric buses (12 meters long). A decision in this regard will be taken soon, Sriramulu added.
Rajendra Kumar Kataria, principal secretary of the transport department, said that the prices of electronic bus tickets will be lower than normal buses. Mainly, there will be no noise pollution and smoke emission. The BMTC will acquire 90 e-buses in the first phase and 300 buses in the second phase.
The central government is encouraged to introduce “electric culture” into the public transport system through the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (Fame-2) project in 9 cities. They asked for the list of the number of buses required. Over the next three years there will be an offer for 1,500 buses. Each year, 600 e-buses will be added to transport and around 30 to 40 percent of people would travel via e-buses, he explained.
As part of the Fame-1 program, electric bus services in the city will be provided. In the second phase (Fame -2), it was agreed to launch electric intercity bus services, he said.
BMTC General Manager Anbukumar explained that the cost of a diesel bus is Rs 30 lakh and an e-bus would cost Rs 90 lakh. Smart City project funds have been used. BMTC not having the experience, the company was asked to take care of the maintenance of these buses. Every year, no less than 400 buses are scrapped and they will be replaced by electric buses.