The city will have a new addition to its roads before the new year. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which had deferred induction of new buses citing financial distress induced by the pandemic, is all set to introduce new buses by the year end.
BMTC Managing Director Anbukumar said in the last week of December, 230 new buses will be inducted into the existing fleet. Of the 230 buses, 200 are BSVI diesel and 30 electric.
The last induction of new buses happened two years ago, he said. “After the outbreak of the pandemic, to reduce the financial burden, investment on new buses was postponed. Now, with the support of the State Government, we are inducting 565 new BSVI buses. On the other hand, under the Smart City project, we are inducting 90 electric buses. Among the e-buses, we have already received 16 buses and 14 more are expected to reach in a couple of days. For the first time, the BMTC is introducing BSVI services in the city and 200 such buses will be inducted by year end.” he explained. He added the BMTC is waiting for the dates of the Chief Minister to launch the new services.
The electric buses that are going to be inducted will be operated as “metro feeder services”. All the 30 buses will be operated from Kengeri depot. The BMTC has identified routes such as Kengeri to Yeshwanthpur, Kengeri to Electronics City, and Yeshwanthpur to Kengeri.
“Fare of existing ordinary buses will be applicable to e-buses. We are finalising the routes on operating e-buses in consultation with the BMRCL” the official said.
Since 2014, the BMTC has made several attempts to introduce e-buses. For various reasons, the attempts did not yield results. The corporation had failed to avail subsidy provided under FAME 1 (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles ). However, under FAME II , the BMTC is inducting 300 e-buses.
“In six months, all the buses under FAME II and Smart City Project will be part of our existing fleet. We are also introducing the rest of BSVI buses. This helps us weed out old buses,” the official said.