Ball set rolling for bringing back Bengaluru's double-decker buses

The electric double-decker buses will be 9 metres long and are expected to have a capacity to operate 200km on a single charge.

Published: 22nd December 2022 07:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd December 2022 07:04 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BANGALORE: After being in the works for more than a decade, the plan to bring back double-decker buses on Bengaluru roads once again will be a reality soon. In the 1970s and 80s, double-decker buses were quite a common feature in the city, but were phased out by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation in 1997. The transport utility has been working on this for a long time, but the matter didn’t proceed much from the drawing board. This time, however, the BMTC has set the ball rolling on getting double-decker buses on the roads.

In its expression of interest notification to procure 10 electric AC double-decker buses put out in November, BMTC specified that the bidding company should have an experience of manufacturing and supplying a minimum of 100 battery operated electric buses of different variants that are compliant to the statutory requirements of the Motor Vehicle Act.

BMTC Director (IT) A V Surya Sen noted that there are very few who are into  manufacturing double-decker buses. “We have received expressions of interest from manufacturers and we will float the tender soon for five electric AC double-decker buses initially,” he said.

Once the first five buses are delivered, the transport utility will float a tender for another five buses after approval under the National Clean Air Programme.

The electric double-decker buses will be 9 metres long and are expected to have a capacity to operate 200km on a single charge. On routes that these buses will be operating on, Sen said, “We have not decided on the routes yet. It is not a big deal and we will decide on the route once the first five buses are delivered to us.”

Earlier, double-decker buses used to be run from KR Market and Majestic to places like Shivajinagar, Doopanahalli and Jayanagar. The BMTC still has the last double-decker bus, named Kaveri, which is rented out for film shootings.

“Given the tremendous development the city has witnessed, with flyovers, underpasses and railway bridges coming up all over apart from tree branches and hanging cables, it will be tough to operate the buses in core city areas,” a source from the BMTC said and added that a survey will be done to choose the routes and chances are that the buses may ply on the outskirts of the city.



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