25 hybrid buses to ply from BKC to Sion, Kurla and Bandra stations soon

25 hybrid buses to ply from BKC to Sion, Kurla and Bandra stations soon
MMRDA will introduce 25 hybrid buses, which will connect hybrid buses will connect BKC to Sion, Bandra and Kurla railway stations. Picture Courtesy: Rajendra B. Aklekar

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is set to introduce hybrid bus service from Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), one of city’s premier commercial centres.

The MMRDA, BEST and TATA officials on Thursday supervised the first bus, out of the 25 bus lot, and deemed them technically fit to ply on the route. TATA will supply five buses every month.

The indigenously developed buses feature a fully electric drive train with on board charging via a BS IV compliant diesel powertrain and new-generation advanced lithium ion phosphate battery technology.

The hybrid buses will connect BKC to Sion, Bandra and Kurla railway stations. The minimum fare for the commute will be Rs 15 and the maximum fare is expected to be around Rs 25.

The transport department of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport Undertaking (BEST) will be responsible for operating the bus service on a day to day basis. The buses have a sitting capacity of 31+1 passengers and a standing capacity of 28 passengers.

Although the ‘Starbus’ range of buses – costing approximately Rs 2 crore each – feature state-of-the-art facilities like CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi, USB charging and automatic fare collection system, MMRDA has not confirmed if all of them will be introduced.

Further details regarding the date by when the service will launch, and the frequency, are awaited.

In April, BEST had stopped AC bus services in the city due to lack of popularity and economic feasibility. However, the decision to introduce hybrid buses on limited routes was taken way earlier. MMRDA, in fact, had placed the order for the 25 buses in March 2016.

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