Karnataka CM flags off 75 electric buses, for BMTC

On Sunday, honourable Chief-Minister of Karnataka Sri Basavaraj Bommai flagged off 75 new electric buses for the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The buses will commence operations from Monday, the 15th August 2022, the day which marks a total of 75 years of Indian Independence.

These buses are a part of the Centre’s FAME-II scheme under which a total of 300 electric buses will be operated on a Gross Cost Contract model in Bengaluru. The buses have been manufactured by SWITCH Mobility, a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland.

All these buses are non-AC with a seating capacity of 40+1. The vehicles comes pre-installed with tracking units, CCTV, LED route display boards and emergency panic buttons for passenger safety. All the buses will be supplied, maintained and operated by SWITCH Mobility. They are all equipped with modular batteries with an aim to upgrade later for a higher range as and when necessary.

Switch Mobility will be paid Rs 48.9 per km for operating an assured 225 km distance per bus per day. For each bus, the Centre is providing Rs 55 lakh while Rs 33.33 lakh is being given by the Karnataka government.

All the buses are equipped with electrically-operated ramp & lift with independent door for wheel-chair users to facilitate physically-challenged passengers.

A BMTC official said, “The 12-metre buses have more seating capacity than the existing nine-metre buses that have 32 seats. These buses have a ramp facility, making it more friendly for the differently-abled. The buses have been introduced on trunk routes and in areas with a high-density population connecting major landmarks in the city, including Majestic, Yelahanka, Kengeri and others.”

He also explained that, "These 300 electric buses will be deployed as follows,

  • 120 buses for Yelahanka (depot-30),
  • 120 buses for Attibele (new depot), and
  • 60 buses for the Bidadi (depot-49) depots will be operated.

The buses are expected to operate for 150 km on a single charge and the remaining 75km will be covered by providing ‘opportunity charging’. The official added, “Opportunity charging is nothing but a quick charging facility (which takes 45 minutes) which has been installed in Majestic. The facility will be further extended to bus stations in Kengeri, Central Silk Board and Yeshwantpur.”

"Out of the 75 buses, 10 are going to be deployed between Kempegowda bus stand and Vidyaranapura, 20 between Shivajinagar bus stand and Yelahanka, 10 from Yelahanka to Kengeri bus stand, 15 buses between Kempegowda bus stand and Yelahanka and 20 buses between Hebbal and Central Silk Board."

With new-age electric buses, the city is expected to ward-off significant amount of tail-pipe emission issues and also provide as the basis for the new technology mobility solution experience to the BMTC to adopt better in the coming future.

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