Mumbai commute gets smoother: Hybrid AC buses to BKC to hit roads next month
The 32-seater buses, each costing around Rs1.61 crores, are air conditioned, have low floors and come with various on-board facilitiesmumbai Updated: Sep 26, 2017 14:40 IST
Your daily commute to Mumbai’s business district Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) will soon be more comfortable as the first batch of hybrid electric air conditioned buses are likely to be rolled out next month. The buses will ply between the nearest railway stations to BKC.
The fleet of five buses has reached the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking depots after the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) handed them over to the operating authority. After a delay of months, the buses were delivered to MMRDA by M/S Tata Motors in September.
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 price of tickets will range between Rs15 and Rs25. BEST sources said that the buses will improve road connectivity to BKC. Twenty more buses will be rolled out in a phased manner in the future.
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 the engine is running, and its electronic braking system generates power each time the driver presses the brakes.
MMRDA handed over these buses to BEST this week. The BEST is now waiting for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Transport Authority’s (MMRTA) nod to bring the buses on the city roads. MMRDA owns the buses, while BEST holds the stage carriage permit to ply them.
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.