The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) plans to replace most of the Airport Volvo buses with electric AC buses soon. The corporation aims to roll out 320 low-floor AC electric buses, each measuring 12 metres at an estimated cost of ₹150 crore under the Gross Cost Contract (GCC) model.
According to a senior BMTC official, the BMTC recently called for a Request for Proposal for selecting a service provider for procurement, operation and maintenance of “320 low floor, 400mm floor height city type AC electric buses on GCC model under the scheme for special assistance to states for capital investment 2023-24.”
This decision follows the State government’s approval to introduce electric AC buses into the existing fleet of BMTC. These buses are set to replace the current Vayu Vajra Volvo buses that operate to the Kempegowda International Airport from various parts of the city. “The intention is to gradually substitute the diesel Volvo buses on Vayu Vajra which runs to Bengaluru airport routes and the Vajra AC buses which run in different parts of the city with these new electric AC buses,” said an official.
BMTC non-AC E-buses
Meanwhile, BMTC is expected to receive 180 Tata Motors non-AC electric buses next month. The corporation has claimed a boost in daily ridership following the implementation of the Shakti scheme, offering free bus travel for women in non-premium State-run buses.
The BMTC had earlier placed an order for leasing 921 electric buses under the FAME-2 scheme. In August 2022, Tata Motors had won the order. Under the tender by Convergence Energy Services Limited (CESL), Tata Motors will supply, operate, and maintain the 12-metre electric buses for a period of 12 years.
In July, the BMTC received a prototype of the new set of electric buses, which ply on route 96-A, which is a circular route that starts and ends at Kempegowda Bus Stand and goes through Rajajinagar.
According to officials, the new buses will commence operations from Shantinagar and K.R. Puram depots within two months and once all 921 buses arrive, these buses will be deployed at Jayanagar, Hennur, Deepanajlinagar, R.R. Nagar, Peenya 2nd Stage, Jigani, Seegehalli, and Hosakote depots.
BMTC currently possesses a fleet of 390 electric buses, comprising 90 NTPC-JBM Auto JV 9-meter midi-buses and 300 Switch Mobility 12-meter buses.