BEST all ‘charged’ to expand green cover on city roads

The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has planned to promote eco-friendly commute by adding more electric buses to its fleet next year. The BEST may receive 49 more air-conditioned e-buses before December 31 and in 2021, another 265 more e-buses will be inducted into the BEST fleet.

At present there are 72 e-buses making services under the BEST of which 66 buses are procured on wet-lease basis and the six buses are owned by the undertaking.

The new buses will have automated door facilities along with lifts for the differently-abled,WiFi, charging ports and CCTV cameras. Earlier this month, 26 e-buses were flagged off by CM Uddhav Thackeray, which the transport undertaking received under Union ministry's FAME India scheme.

At present, these buses are plying on Backbay-Powai, Backbay-Napean Sea road and Navy Nagar to NCPA routes. BEST officials said the new buses have earned immense popularity among the commuters. "With the new 49 buses, the total number of e-buses in BEST will increase to 121 and we are planning to bring more e-buses in order to augment our fleet" Varade told FPJ.

Alongside this, new electric charging stations have been set up at the bus depots in Worli, Malvani and Shivaji Nagar. Earlier, the Dharavi depot and Backbay depot were equipped with e-bus charging stations.

"We have sufficient number of charging points for our e-buses, now that we are bringing in more e-buses hence the number of charging stations are also being increased," Varade added.

Sources said by next year ten more depots will be equipped with bus charging stations as the e-buses will soon be running through the suburban belt of the city, as presently electric buses are mostly being run on the island city.

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