Bangalore, Feb 28: State-run Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Friday began operating an electrically-charged bus service to provide eco-friendly public transport to commuters. Initially, only one bus will be run.
“We will operate the service on trial basis over the next three months between central terminus at Majestic and Kadugodi, as it is one of the busy routes in the city due to concentration of IT companies in and around Whitefield in the eastern suburb,” a top BMTC official told reporters here.
Touted to be the first in the country, the fully air-conditioned bus with zero emission will check the air pollution caused by diesel buses.
“We will make six trips a day for 12 hours between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. as the bus needs at least six hours to charge it fully to run for 250 km,” BMTC managing director Anjum Parvez said.
Though the upfront cost of the electric bus is Rs.2.7 crore as against Rs.90 lakh of an AC Volvo bus, its operational cost will be Rs.7 per km as against Rs.18 per km incurred by the latter.
“We will recover the high cost of the electric bus in the long run as we will be saving a lot of money on diesel cost. The fare will be same as in the Volvo service, with Rs.10 as minimum fare,” Parvez said on the occasion.
According to Utopia Automation Control managing director Prasanna Deshmukh, about 5,000 similar electric buses are being operated in many European countries.
Utopia has custom built the bus to operate on batteries.
The swanky bus has 30 cushioned seats and an electronic display board in front, rear and inside to indicate destination stops enroute.
“The electric bus is fitted with two closed circuit cameras, two roof hatches-cum-emergency exits to ensure fresh air and two wide in-swing doors that are operated electronically with sensors,” Parvez pointed out.
The bus is also equipped with fire extinguishers and hammers to break the glass window panes in emergency.