Bengaluru

BMTC gets operator for electric buses

Fares will be on par with air-conditioned buses

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has come a step closer to its ambitious plan of plying electric buses on the city’s roads. The first phase will see the introduction of 40 e-buses with the transport corporation charging fares on par with existing AC buses.

The bidding process to select a private operator for 150 buses has been completed. BMTC Managing Director V. Ponnuraj said that Goldstone — a Hyderabad-based company — emerged as the lowest bidder.

“Seven companies participated in the bidding process, but one got disqualified. The lowest bidder Goldstone will start operating buses within six months. The Corporation will pay Rs. 37.50 per kilometer to the operator, which does not include the cost of power consumption, conductors’ salaries and taxes,” said Mr. Ponnuraj, adding that the operator is expected to invest close to Rs. 80 crore in the first phase.

BMTC is the State-run road corporation to receive the lowest bid price when compared with other corporations in the country. “The State-run corporation in Telangana received the lowest bidding of Rs. 49 per kilometer; in Mumbai, it is somewhere around Rs. 55,” he added.

The 12-metre-long electric buses will have 42 seats, and all the comforts of existing AC buses. They will be operated for 200 kilometres per day. “We have already identified several routes, which include airport services and IT corridors. Services will be run on identified routes after reaching an understanding with the operator,” said Mr. Ponnuraj.

In the first week of January, the BMTC had floated a tender for selecting an operator for 150 e-buses. The transport corporation is 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).

The official said, “We have already communicated to the Union government on finalising the bidding process and requested more subsidy for operation of e-buses.”

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 8:18:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bmtc-gets-operator-for-electric-buses/article22881774.ece

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