Monday, August 03, 2009

New addition to Bangalore city’s luxury bus fleet

New addition to Bangalore city’s luxury bus fleet

Staff Reporter
Funded under the JNNURM, they promise to be more user-friendly
Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

Comfortable: One of the new buses BMTC has introduced under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. —
BANGALORE: Wondering what these new pleasant-looking buses, painted in sky blue, plying on Bangalore roads are? These low-floor buses, small in number, are a new addition to the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) stable that sports cosy interiors with seats like those in BMTC’s premium Vajra services.

Funded under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), the BMTC has pushed into service nearly 50 sky-blue buses which are plying on different routes in the city, sporting “JNNURM” name and logo. The fares on these services are on a par with Suvarna fares. By this December, 700 such buses will be on Bangalore roads apart from two hundred Vajra and one hundred air-conditioned buses by this time, all under JNNURM funding.

While the total cost of these buses comes to around Rs. 328 crore, the Central Government bears 35 per cent of the cost, the State Government 15 per cent and BMTC the rest.

Passenger convenience
All the JNNURM funded buses will have four LED route display boards — three outside and one inside. The LED board inside the bus will also display each stop en-route with the help of global positioning system (GPS), and will be accompanied by a voice-based public announcement.

Boarding and alighting in these new sky blue buses will be easy when compared to regular BMTC buses. As against 1,200 mm floor height of Suvarna buses, these buses have 850-900 mm floor height, making it convenient for commuters, particularly the elderly and women.

The BMTC has already placed orders for one hundred air-conditioned buses of the Tata make, which are likely to be supplied by September. The floor height in these buses will be 650 mm, making it easier for commuters to use them.

The corporation may not have a fare structure different from that of Suvarna services for these air-conditioned services, sources in BMTC said adding that the corporation had almost achieved uniform fare structure except for Vajra services.

By the end of this financial year, BMTC will induct 1,400 buses, including the 1,000 funded by JNNURM. Meanwhile, it will be scrapping 400 buses, bringing the total addition to one thousand. The total fleet strength of the corporation thus will cross the 6,000 mark.

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