The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is inching towards realising its ambition of introducing a fleet of electric buses, and has floated a tender for an operator to run the fleet.
The operator will have to supply 150 electric buses and reach an agreement with the Corporation to operate them for 10 years.
If all goes as planned, the BMTC will be the first State-run corporation in the country to operate electric buses on ‘Gross Cost Model'. The successful bidder will be paid by the BMTC on a contracted rate per kilometre basis.
“We are hoping that bus manufacturers, private operators or a consortium will participate in the bidding,” said V. Ponnuraj, managing director, BMTC. Given the scale of the initiative, the transport corporation is seeking a bidder who will not only provide the fleet, but also the required manpower, including trained drivers and technical staff, and invest in infrastructure such as charging points.
The BMTC will deploy conductors in each bus to collect the fare and decide the quantum of fare, the routes, and schedule of operations after reaching an understanding with the operator.
Officials expect the cost to be within ₹300 crore. “A few years ago, the cost of a single electric bus was ₹2.5 crore. We are hoping the price will come down as the result of falling battery costs,” said an official. “The operator will receive an incentive under the scheme for Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles India (FAME India), which is ₹1 crore per bus. The project cost may be lower than ₹300 crore,” an official said.
On the fare, the official said, “We are planning to make it more affordable for the passenger. The fare may be lesser than the AC bus fare.” However, he added that it would be difficult to reveal a figure at this stage as the fare would depend on the final outcome of the tender process.
The tender document suggest that the BMTC is planning to operate either nine-metre buses with 31 seats or 12-metre buses with 42 seats. The operator should make sure that each bus runs for 200 kilometres every day, and that the entire fleet of 150 buses should be available for operations with manpower and supervising technical staff.
Conditions for operator
* Operational experience of 300 buses
* Minimum turnover: ₹275 crore
* Deposit a bank guarantee of ₹30 crore
* Must supply buses within 6 months after reaching an agreement
* In contract is terminated, the BMTC has right to take over buses
* Adverse operating conditions like bad road conditions, rains, flooding of roads, heavy traffic shall not affect contractual obligations
* The operator shall have the right to display advertisements
* BMTC to oversee fleet development, which includes operating plan, routes, frequency, stoppage plan, peak hour operations
* The operator shall be entitled to price escalation once in 2 years, and will be responsible for damages arising due to negligent driving or accidents, fines imposed by traffic police
* Buses must be fitted with first aid kits
* Must appoint one manager per 75 buses