By Aglaia Staff

The passenger bus, with zero emission level, was inaugurated by Karnataka Transport Minister R Ramalinga Reddy as an initiative of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation. The air-conditioned bus can seat 31 passengers and a fully charged battery (5 hours) covers a distance of around 250 km.

“The bus will run on free trial basis for the first three months, following which the BMTC will decide on its purchase. The passenger fare will be equivalent to the Volvo bus fare,” Ramalinga Reddy told The Hindu. At a cost of around Rs 2.7 crore, the bus will operate from Majestic to Kadugodi (Route No 335E) and may be used on the airport access road as well. While the cost of the bus is high, if it proves to be efficient in the city, Reddy said the government could look at increasing the number of buses in a phased manner.

350px Bmtc logo Bengaluru Gets Indias First Electric Bus; Other Cities To Follow

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“We will consider various options if the bus is found to be suitable for the city. At present, it is on a three-month trial and following this, a decision will be taken on whether or not to purchase the bus,” Reddy told the New Indian Express. While switching entirely to e-buses could be a long term measure, the Karnataka government has indicated that it is looking at cutting pollution caused by public transportation.

In his budget speech last week, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had indicated that the government will soon introduce buses running on eco-friendly fuel such as CNG. “The distribution work of natural gas is in the final stage with the joint venture of KSIIDC and GAIL. It will be completed at the earliest and action will be taken on priority basis to supply CNG in Bangalore.

Action will be taken to introduce and adopt eco-friendly CNG in urban transport vehicles in a phased manner,” he had announced. A report by the Centre for Science and Environment released in 2013 identified Bangalore as one among 14 cities that have high levels of particulate matter. A World Bank study has indicated that using CNG over diesel would reduce carbon monoxide by about 83 percent, nitrogen oxide by 58 percent, and a 97 per cent drop in particulate matter, the Bangalore Mirror reported. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation currently has 6,472 buses operating on 2,398 routes with 4.9 million passengers using its services daily.


 Bengaluru Gets Indias First Electric Bus; Other Cities To Follow
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