Commute to Bandra-Kurla Complex to get smoother, AC buses to start this month
BEST will operate these buses on routes connecting BKC with Bandra, Kurla and Sion railway stations, and the passengers will have to shell out Rs15-Rs25 for it.Updated: Sep 07, 2017 09:53 IST
Your daily commute to Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) from the nearest railway stations is set to become smoother, as the eco-friendly hybrid electric buses will start plying before October.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has finally received the first lot of five of the 25 eco-friendly buses from M/S Tata Motors, after a delay of several months. Presently, the buses are parked at Tata Motor’s facility at Panvel.
On behalf of the MMRDA, the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) registered the buses at the Tardeo regional transport office (RTO) last week. According to BEST sources, they are now waiting for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority’s (MMRTA) nod for bringing the buses on the city roads.
An RTO source said that the MMRDA owns the new buses, and also holds the permit to ply them. Hence, if BEST is going to ply the buses on behalf of the regional planning and development body, approval of MMRTA, which is chaired by the transport secretory of the state, is necessary.
The 32-seater buses, each costing around Rs1.61 crores, are air conditioned, have low floors and come with on-board facilities like mobile charging points, digital display, passenger announcement system, bucket seats, WiFi and automatic fare collection system, among others.
BEST will operate these buses on routes connecting BKC with Bandra, Kurla and Sion railway stations, and the passengers will have to shell out Rs15-Rs25 for it. BEST sources said that the buses will improve road connectivity to BKC, which will bring convenience to scores of officer goers.
The buses run on diesel and electric power. The BS IV compliant buses have advanced lithium ion phosphate battery technology. A senior BEST official said that the batteries of the buses recharge while engine is running, and its electronic braking system generates power each time the driver presses the breaks.
Although the plan to have eco-friendly buses in BKC was conceived in early 2013, it was delayed by four years owing to issues with the overall structure of the plan, and operations and maintenance.
The buses have been purchased under the initiative taken by MMRDA to promote clean fuel, and supported by the policy ‘FAME 2015’, which is about promoting electric transport under National Electric Mobility Mission 2020.