Bengaluru gets its first electric Metro feeder bus, more in the offing

Karnataka Transport minister B Sriramulu announced that the process to procure an additional 300 buses will be sped up in the coming days.

Karnataka Transport minister B Sriramulu Thursday unveiled Bengaluru’s first electric bus which will run as a feeder service at Namma Metro stations and resolve last-mile connectivity problems faced by Metro passengers.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) received the e-bus from Uttar Pradesh-based JBM Auto Limited. The nine-meter non-AC bus has a capacity of operating 120 km per single charge. Each e-bus will have a carrying capacity of 33 passengers.

The minister unveiled the first of the 90 electric buses to be leased by the National Thermal Power Corporation Vypar Vidyut Nigam. Sriramulu announced that the process to procure an additional 300 buses will be sped up in the coming days.

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Speaking to reporters, he said, “Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai will formally induct 10 buses in November. The first vehicle which we received will be subjected to trial runs after getting a permit from the Transport Department.”

Officials said JBM Auto Limited will dispatch 90 mini-electric buses at a cost of Rs 130 crore as part of the project. “After completing RTO formalities, the e-buses will be deployed on the city roads. The buses will be operated on a Gross Cost Contract (GCC) basis, according to which the private firm will not only supply the buses but also take full responsibility for the operation and the maintenance of the buses. The firm will provide drivers as well,” officials said.

“BMTC has also floated and finalised a tender for selection of service provider for procurement, operation and maintenance of 90 nine-meter non-AC electric buses for Metro feeder service on GCC model under Bengaluru Smart City Scheme. Bengaluru Smart City Ltd shall be providing financial assistance of Rs 50 crore for the operation of 90 electric buses. An incentive of Rs 50 lakh per bus (Rs 45 crore for 90 busses) shall be provided for the bidder and Rs 5 crore shall be utilised by BMTC for installation of charging infrastructure,” an official explained.

The BMTC has completed the tender and a letter of award has been issued to NTPC Vypar Vidyut Nigam at a GCC rate of Rs 51.67/ km with electricity for 180 assured kilometres for a period of 10 years.

The 90 buses will be operated by depots in Yeswanthpura, K R Puram and Kengeri. “The buses have a capacity of operating 120 km per single charge and an opportunity charging time of 45 minutes

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