After a long gap, BMTC set to induct new buses

Nearly 1,000 buses will be added to the fleet in six months

After a long delay, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is all set to induct nearly 1,000 buses into its existing fleet in six months. This includes 565 BSVI buses, which it is procuring with the support of the State Government.

BMTC will be the first corporation in the State to introduce BSVI buses. In addition to this, under the Smart City project, the corporation will operate 90 non-air conditioned electric buses and another 300 electric-buses under the FAME 2 project.

With the pandemic putting a strain on finances, the State Government had instructed BMTC not to make fresh capital investment for new buses. The last time the corporation made a significant addition to its fleet was in 2017-18 when it procured 1,406 buses. In the previous year (2019-20) only 361 buses were inducted, while none were procured in 2020-21.

“BMTC is not spending any money for the induction of new buses. We are using subsidies available under Smart City projects and FAME to operate electric buses. Take the example of FAME 2: for each bus, the corporation gets a subsidy of ₹55 lakh from the Central government and 33 lakh from the State Government. The introduction of 300 e-buses will change the way we operate buses in the city,” said V. Anbukumar, Managing Director of BMTC.

BMTC will operate e-buses through a private player, where it will pay the operator an operational cost. Electric buses under the Smart City project are likely to roll out next week with five buses. By December, all the 90 buses will be operational.

Mr. Anbukumar said old buses will be scrapped once the new vehicles are inducted into the fleet. But with no new buses in recent years, the corporation is making do with its existing fleet. Many passengers have vented their ire on social media by complaining about poor maintenance of buses by sharing videos of the roof leaking during the rains.

“After a bus completes 9 lakh kilometres of operations, we have to send it for scrapping. Owing to the non-induction of buses, we are making best use of the available fleet and not curtailing schedules for the benefit of our commuters. Every year, we have to scrap 700 to 800 buses,” he said.

At present, the BMTC has a fleet size of 6,400 buses including 860 AC buses.

Source: Read Full Article