BMTC to lease 6,000 buses in a phased manner

Of the 6,000 buses, 50% will be electric and operated on priority lanes.  

Citizens who have been demanding that the government focus on mass transit systems and increase the strength of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (BMTC) fleet have a reason to cheer.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, on Wednesday, announced that BMTC will operate another 6,000 buses, which it will lease from private manufactures. This addition will see the number of BMTC buses on Bengaluru’s road almost double.

The Chief Minister said the leasing, which will be done in a phased manner, will reduce financial burden on the corporation. “We cannot afford to procure buses at this stage as it needs an investment of thousands of crores. By leasing buses, we can operate them by investing a few hundred crores,” he said at a press conference after a high-level meeting.

The hope is that with more buses, people will be induced to leave their private vehicles at home, which will eventually bring down the pollution level in the city. “In the coming days, the State government will provide financial assistance to the corporation to make bus travel affordable for the public,” he said.

Electric buses

Of the 6,000 buses, 50% will be electric and operated on priority lanes. The State government has also decided to introduce priority bus lanes on 12 high-density corridors, including ORR.

Vinay K. Srinivas of Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike said: “We welcome the State government’s move to operate more buses and provide priority lanes. However, instead of leasing them, it should allow the BMTC to procure buses by providing financial aid. Large scale leasing of buses will be a slippery slope for privatisation. When the government can provide thousands of crores to metro and other projects, why is there hesitation to fund BMTC?”

The BMTC currently has a fleet of 6,500 buses and is in the process of scrapping a 1,000 old ones.

Under the second phase of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid) and Electric Vehicles in India, it will be leasing 300 e-buses. Tender has been floated to lease the buses through a private operator.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 5:17:51 AM |

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