Bengaluru

E-buses to ply on 24 routes

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Majority will cater to IT corridors, ORR and KIA; BMTC likely to charge fare on par with AC buses

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has identified 24 profitable routes for its fleet of 300 electric buses, which it will lease from a private operator and introduce in a phased manner.

A majority of the e-buses will be operated on IT corridors, Outer Ring Road and to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA). The route from Banashankari to ITPB will get the highest number of e-buses (63). Services will most likely begin in November, said officials.

Around 25 buses each will be operated from Hebbal to Silk Board, and Vijayanagar to ITPB.

Routes chosen

“The routes identified by the Corporation receive good patronage by the people and the earning per kilometre on them is higher compared to other routes,” said a senior BMTC official.

There will be eight routes from the city to the airport, with 19 buses from Electronics City and nine from HAL to KIA.

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has already floated a tender to select a private operator to operate 400 e-buses, of which 300 will go to BMTC. As per the FAME II scheme, the BMTC has to lease and operate the e-buses through a private player. While it will not be investing in them, the corporation will bear a portion of the operational expenditure quoted by the lowest bidder.

“The e-buses will first be leased for Bengaluru, and should be economically viable for the Corporation as well. All aspects were considered while selecting the the routes. The BMTC may even consider other routes to operate the buses,” said the official.

Fares on par with AC buses

Most of these routes are being served by its air-conditioned fleet, which receive good patronage and is a profitable revenue stream for the Corporation.

C. Shikha, MD of BMTC, said, “No different fare structure has been fixed for the electric buses. E-buses are AC buses and the same fare structure will apply.”

Officials are contemplating various on-board and off-board bus fare payment options for passengers, such as cash, smart card, QR code, tickets and passes. The buses will be fitted with display boards, CCTV cameras, external cameras and panic buttons.

KSRTC to operate buses on four routes

The KSRTC has identified four routes from Bengaluru to operate 50 e-buses. The destinations are Mysuru, Davangere, Tumakuru and Shivamogga.

An official of the KSRTC said, “ An e-bus can be operated for a stretch of 300 km. We have fixed routes that are within this range and that lead to popular destinations. The Bengaluru to Mysuru route is very popular. The other three cities are part of the Smart City project.”

In all likelihood, KSRTC will price the tickets on par with the Airavata bus service being operated on these routes.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 1:32:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/e-buses-to-ply-on-24-routes/article29502147.ece

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