Buses with wheelchair-lifting facility to be deployed in Bengaluru soon

BMTC plans will operate 300 non-AC electric buses with this option

June 12, 2022 08:53 pm | Updated June 13, 2022 03:40 pm IST - Bengaluru

A BMTC bus with the wheelchair-lifting facility at a depot in Bengaluru.

A BMTC bus with the wheelchair-lifting facility at a depot in Bengaluru. | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

To make commuting easier for the differently abled, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has, for the first time, introduced buses that have wheelchair-lifting facility, which will be operated by the bus crew. Under the FAME II scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India), the corporation will operate 300 non-AC electric buses with this option. The BMTC has already started receiving the buses and they will be deployed soon.

Director (IT) of BMTC Surya Sen, A.V. said, “We expect to get around 100 buses by August 1. Wheelchair-lifting facility is a prominent feature. The Chief Minister will inaugurate the services, and they will be operated on routes connecting areas such as Majestic and several points on the Outer Ring Road, like Central Silk Board and Hebbal.” The corporation has received five e-buses, that are 12 metre long with 40 odd seats in each. Depots like Attibele, Bidadi and Yelahanka have been identified to operate them.

A BMTC official said, “The corporation has been running low-floor buses, such as Vajra and Vayu Vajra. But, most wheelchair-bound people prefer to use private vehicles. In the new buses, by pressing a button, the bus crew can help the passenger to easily board and alight.” The wheelchair-lifting facility is located in the middle of the bus, and once the passenger gets inside the bus, the wheelchair gets placed at the designated spot.

Devikala M.L. of the Association of People with Disability, said, “We have been demanding that BMTC should induct buses that are differently abled friendly, and the present move is welcome. Besides, the management should sensitize the bus crew on how they should treat differently abled people. There is also a need to bring holistic changes in the public transport system in the interest of differently abled people, senior citizens, children, and women.”

S. Babu, South Regional Coordinator of Disability Law Unit, said, “Differently abled people face hardships daily. At Majestic, for example, there is no easy passage connecting the KSR Railway Station, the bus stand, and the Mero station. Differently abled people cannot easily use the subway. The footpaths, which are in a bad shape, should be made walkable and usable by the wheelchair-bound people.”

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