The much-awaited metro bus services will soon be a reality on city roads. Of the 240 new buses sanctioned to Vijayawada city under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the first batch of six semi-low-floor buses arrived here on Sunday.
“By the month-end, we are expecting 100 buses that will arrive on alternate days in batches. The new buses will be rolled out as and when they arrive,” A. Koteswara Rao, Regional Manager of the AP State Road Transport Corporation, said on Sunday.
The eco-friendly buses run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) are meant to strengthen the fleet of the RTC in the region.
A CNG filling station that is coming up at Governorpet-II depot is nearing completion and the new buses have temporarily been positioned at Vidyadharapuram depot.
“We are utilising the spare capacity of the gas filling station at Vidyadharapuram for the time being,” said Mr.Koteswara Rao.
The RTC plans to collect express fares for the new metro service buses. Besides a comfortable seating pattern, the new vehicles will have more leg space for sitting commuters, additional room for those standing between the rows of seats and digital destination boards.
The new gas filling station at Governorpet is likely to be completed by the month-end.
“The drivers need to be gradually exposed to the CNG buses from the current diesel-run buses. A CNG-run bus is like a petrol-run car. The smooth ride may tempt the driver to take to high speed. They must get attuned to the new braking system, which is more effective,” said Mr. Rao.
Of the total 240 buses sanctioned, 192 of them are semi-low floor buses while 48 are low-floor deluxe type.
The entrance is much lower making it easy for the commuter to board or alight from the vehicle. Most importantly, the commuter experiences a sense of spaciousness, which is apparently missing in the present vehicles.