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Mumbaiites, ditch your cars, take an eco-friendly bus ride to BKC

BEST launches 25 buses to and from Bandra-Kurla Complex to improve connectivity to the city’s prime business district

mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2018 13:58 IST
Kailash Korde
Kailash Korde
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,hybrid buses
People take selfies inside the newly-launched buses.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

After gathering dust for months, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Friday launched 25 hybrid electric buses, inaugurated by chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, in presence of Union heavy industries minister Anant Geete.

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking will operate the buses on behalf of MMRDA, in an effort to improve road connectivity at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), the city’s prime business district. The regional planning body stated that the high-tech buses will ferry passengers on five short routes, plying from BKC to Bandra, Sion and Kurla stations from 9am to 6pm.

Besides that, the buses will also run on longer point-to-point routes between BKC and Thane, Mulund, Navi Mumbai, and Borivli. In the morning, the buses will ferry passengers to BKC from the stated destinations between 7.30am to 8.30pm, and then back from 6pm to 7pm, from Monday to Saturday.

The passengers will have to shell out Rs63 to Rs110 for a journey on the longer routes, and Rs16 to Rs26 on the shorter routes. However, on longer routes, the AC buses won’t bring any relief to the office goers who commute from areas like Vashi, Belapur, Chembur, Ghatkopar , Andheri or other en-route destinations, owing to limited stops. On longer routes, there are only two or three fixed stops outside BKC, much to the disappointment of many passengers.

The Tata Motors buses ply on duel fuel--Lithium-Ion batteries and diesel. With a single charge, the gear and clutch-less buses can cover a distance of 300km. The buses can run at a maximum speed of 80km/h , and have features like advance passenger addressing system, CCTV camera, digital display,TV, WiFi, GPS and digital diagnosis system.

CM Fadanvis said that the buses will make car owners ditch their vehicles . “These buses are air-conditioned and very comfortable, with a host of facilities . People will be encouraged to leave their cars at home,” he said.

Hoping that the buses will reduce pollution, Fadanvis said that the state is working on bringing zero-emission electric buses to Maharashtra.

Speaking on the occasion, union minister Geete said that his ministry has sanctioned 80 electric buses for BEST. “We live in a zero-emission era, and have to walk hand-in-hand with industries to achieve that. We also need to achieve complete electric mobility to make cities and states pollution free,” said Geete.

UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner of MMRDA, said that the buses will reduce emission by 30%, and save around 28% fuel.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 00:27 IST