Mumbai: The much-awaited hybrid bus services, which aim to ease congestion and provide better connectivity to commuters of Bandra-Kurla Complex, is set to begin from October-end. Officials confirmed that ten buses have been registered with the Regional Transport Office (RTO). The bus services will be operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST).
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) was supposed to launch the bus service by August. However, the launch has been delayed by two months. The service would be started within BKC and Bandra, and between Kurla and Sion railway stations.
The BKC area, known as a mega business hub of the city, witnesses a footfall of over five lakh daily. On an average, more than one lakh vehicles ply within BKC. This poses as a major problem for BKC commuters to step out and reach the suburban railway station due to traffic congestion on the road during peak hours. Moreover, even a private vehicle takes more than an hour to reach the nearest railway station, Bandra and Kurla, from BKC.
TATA Motors will supply five buses every month. With a BS IV compliant diesel power engine the hybrid buses feature a fully electric drive train with onboard charging. The eco-friendly buses were purchased from Tata Motors Ltd and each bus, which cost around Rs 1.6 crore, each is an air-conditioned 32-seater hybrid series bus. MMRDA will be introducing 25 buses in total. The minimum fare will be Rs 15 and maximum fare will be Rs 25. The buses will operate both on diesel and battery and could run for 24 hours on the road till charged again.