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Bengaluru Bus: Bengalureans will soon be able to enjoy double-decker bus rides in the new e-avatar

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Bengaluraians will soon be able to enjoy double-decker bus rides like Mumbai. After Mumbai’s BEST, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) plans to introduce 10 double-decker AC electric buses in the city.

Double-decker buses were phased in in 1997 across the country except Mumbai. Now they return in a new electric avatar.

According to a report by ToI, the city’s transport company is planning to purchase five e-buses out of the Rs 140 crore allocated to BBMP by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP). In addition, it plans to purchase five more such buses with the help of the Urban Land Transport Authority (DULT).

The Center has released Rs 140 crore under the 15th Finance Commission grants for air quality improvement for 2021-2022. The Union government has also allocated Rs 20 crore for the electrification of 15 bus depots for inducted e-buses under the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles) scheme.

The company is in the process of identifying routes. But according to some reports, service is likely to start on Outer Ring Road and other ring roads/outskirts as air clearance is required due to the increased height of these buses. Narrow roads, sky bridges, overhead power lines, telecommunication cables, and tree branches pose problems when operating double-decker buses. Poor road conditions, wild curves are other concerns.

In the 1980s, a double-decker bus carrying school children overturned near Ramakrishna Mission in South Bengaluru. This tarnished the image of these buses.

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