Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Marcopolo buses hit the road

Marcopolo buses hit the road


Minister for Transport, R Ashok and TMML CEO Lusuir Grochot at the launch of the Tata Marcopolo buses in Bangalore on Sunday.
Express New Service
First Published : 03 Nov 2008 11:08:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 04 Nov 2008 12:40:26 PM IST

BANGALORE: The long-awaited and much-talked about Tata Marcopolo buses have finally arrived in the City.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has introduced two air-conditioned Tata Marco Polo buses in the city on a trial basis.

Minister for Transport R Ashok, flagged off the two buses at the Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS) on Sunday morning.

The buses would run on the Nelamangala and Hoskote routes from KBS.

The BMTC has received the two buses from Tata Marcopolo Motors plant in Lucknow.

The low chassis, rear-engine Tata Marcopolo buses would be on a trial run for three to six months.

“The decision of placing orders for more Tata Marcopolo buses would be made, based on public opinion, a trouble-free travel experience and response from the commuters,” said Ashok.

The introductory fare on these buses would be between Rs 5 and Rs 20.

Tata Marcopolo buses are the product of a joint venture between Tata Motors and Marco Polo, a Brazilian firm.

Tata Marcopolo Motors Limited bus plant has been set up in Dharwad, but production at this plant has not yet started.

Engines of the newly introduced buses are based on Indian technology. Each 35- seater bus is estimated to cost the BMTC around Rs 55 lakh.

Cheaper AC bus rides

Transport Minister Ashok had earlier said that Marcopolo rides could be offered to the commuters at lower fares than Volvo as the price and operation and maintenance costs of Marcopolo buses are lower than those of Volvo buses.

On comfort, engine and fuel efficiency and other technical issues of the new buses, BMTC officials said they could comment only after the trial period is over.

Tata Marcopolo buses are being run by the Delhi Transport Corporation for intra-city services.

BMTC officials indicated that Marcopolobuses are not meant to replace the existing Volvo luxury buses, but only to enrich the existing fleet in the city transport corporation and to provide variety to commuters.

The Volvo buses have been time-tested while Marcopolo buses are yet to undergo the test, the BMTC officials said.

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