Mira Bhayandar: In a welcome news for commuters travelling in and out of the twin-city, the first batch of electric buses will be inducted into the existing fleet of the public transport authority attached to the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) on the auspicious occasion of Ganesh-Utsav.
The MBMC has placed an order of 57 e-buses. While 32 (midi buses) out of the 57 electric buses will be 9-meter-long and without air-conditioners, 15 will be regular non-AC buses and remaining 10 will be air-conditioned buses. The 12-metre and 9 metre buses will have a seating capacity of 39 and 31 plus drivers respectively. “We will shortly get the delivery of five midi buses which will start plying during Ganesh-Utsav. Routes are being planned accordingly. We are expecting to get the remaining midi buses next month,” confirmed additional municipal commissioner-Aniket Manorkar.
The e-bus project is being implemented under the aegis of the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) mooted by the central government for improving air quality in the country in mission mode. Newly appointed civic chief Sanjay Katkar had recently inspected a demo-bus to evaluate the performance of the vehicle.
Presently, 71 out of the 74 diesel powered buses operate on 18 routes which have an average ridership of 90,000 commuters per day as collections hover above ₹8.5 lakh. The addition of all 57 buses will take the existing fleet size to 131 buses.
MBMC projects figures to cross 2-lakh mark
As the ridership is witnessing a significant surge, every passing day, the civic administration projects the figures to cross the two-lakh mark in the next three years.
The MBMC has appointed a Pune-based company to operate the public transport system on a wet leased Gross Cost Contract (GCC) model under which buses will be owned, maintained, and driven by a private contractor who will also pay for fuel (charging) in exchange for a fixed per-km rate and generate income through advertisements.
MBMC will only deploy conductors to collect revenue through ticket sales.