Eco­friendly ride : You can travel on electric bus in Thane from January

16th Nov, 2017

GREEN WAY For the first time, TMC will invest in buses at zero cost; appointed agency will look after operations for 10 years

THANE: If all goes as per the Thane Municipal Corporation’s (TMC) plans, 10 new electric buses are set hit the road by the end of this year .

The final trial of these buses is yet to be carried out. The TMC has also provided a charging station at the Anandnagar Octroi post. Once sufficiently charged, the buses can run 120 km.

The corporation had initially planned to purchase 100 electric buses. The proposal for these buses was tabled in September 2015. In the first phase, the TMC has acquired 10 buses.

An official from TMC, requesting anonymity said, “The buses will ply for the first time in the city and there are some statutory fitness approvals to be taken.”

The TMC will send the 10 buses to China on November 21 for a statutory testing recommended by the ministry of road and transport.

“Once it is done, the buses will be ready to ply by the end of December. On a temporary basis, the buses will use the TMT depots. Later, we will develop dedicated depots for them,” said the official.

The buses will compete with all other transport services from TMT, NMMT and BEST. The official added, “If there are takers, we will extend the number of the services. The buses are air-conditioned, have free WiFi service and are radio frequency identification-(RFID) enabled — which can trace the exact location of the buses.”

The official said the introduction of the buses showed that the administration was diligently taking measures to reduce carbon missions.

He said, “The emission level of the buses is zero. They do not emit smoke or make any noise. In our country, 60% pollution is due to vehicles. The Indian government has a vision to run all public transport vehicles on electricity by 2030. These buses are a step towards this vision.”

The cost of an electric bus is three times the normal one.

The service will be operated on a public-private-partnership basis. The cost of the buses range from Rs 1.3 crore to Rs 1.4 crore. The maintenance cost of these buses also runs in lakhs per year. The agency will have to invest in its own buses, manpower and maintenance. The corporation had said it would provide land to park the buses and free charging points.

“For the first time, we will invest in buses at zero expenses. The agency appointed will be responsible for maintenance and operations for 10 years. We will earn a revenue of Rs1.20 lakh every year from each bus,” he added.


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