In the biggest allotment of e-buses in India, the process of handing over of 1,180 e-buses has kicked off in Kolkata with the Bengal transport department signing a memorandum of understanding with Tata Motors Ltd for the operation and maintenance of these buses under the Opex model.
Under the model, the buses will be operated and maintained by the manufacturer. The state will pay a per km rate. Also, the driver and conductor will be provided by West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC).
Licence of agreement (LoA) was signed between WBTC and Tata Motors in presence of the transport minister Firhad Hakim and principal secretary transport Binod Kumar.
The Opex model in electric bus operation in the city, under the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME II) scheme, has already been introduced in Kolkata with operation of 50 buses by private operators. The 1,200 buses will come to the city in phases in the next two years. And the state needs to pay Rs 40 per km for each of those buses. Of these, 400 e-buses are expected to be on the road by the end of 2022 and rest 800 buses by 2023. There will be 150 AC buses of 12-m length and 250 non-AC buses under this current scheme. Moreover, there will be 350 AC buses of 9m and 400 non-AC buses of 9m length across the city routes.