The country’s first electric bus, which was launched in the City on pilot basis on February 27, is evoking huge response from Bangaloreans.
BMTC officials, however, are adopting a wait-and-watch policy. They have said that they are yet to decide on buying the buses as it involves huge initial investment.The electric bus has been given a three-month trial period and in the first month, about 8,000 passengers have used the bus, earning the BMTC a revenue of Rs 3.61 lakh.
Officials say that on an average, the BMTC earns Rs 77 for every kilometre the bus runs. It would, however, be unwise to compare the performance of the electric bus with that of the Volvo buses, although both have the same ticket rates, the officials insisted.
Looking beyond statistics, the officials say that on the stretch between the Kempegowda Bus Station and Adugodi, the commuters have been found to wait specifically for the electric bus. Very often, they do so merely for the joy of comparing their journeys on Volvo with going by an electric bus.
On Off days, the BMTC staff members too were found waiting for a ride on the electric bus.
On the positive front for the BMTC, the electric bus, unlike the other buses used on a regular basis, has zero emission and runs about 250 km on a battery charged for six hours.
During peak hours
It also travels at a speed of 60 to 65 km an hour in the City even during peak hours of traffic. At other times, the bus takes just about two hours to cover the distance between Kempegowda Bus Station and Kadugodi, reducing the time by half an hour.When the matter comes to the BMTC buying the buses, however, the officials say they will wait for the trial run to be completed before taking any decision.
The price of the electric bus is Rs 2.7 crore, as against the Rs 90 lakh for a Volvo. An official of the BMTC said that the battery of bus will have to be replaced once every four to five years, and costs half the price of the bus. This too is a point to consider for the BMTC.
“The economic factors, the technical aspects etc will be studied thoroughly once the trial run ends and before we take any decision on buying the electric buses as they are expensive vehicles,” BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez told Deccan Herald.