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Kerala State Road Transport Corporation to launch electric bus in city on June 18

By Express News Service THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation is all set to launch an electric bus here on June 18. It will be introduced on a trial basis for 15 days and the service will be expanded across the state if profitable.

As of now, only one bus will operate in the city and bus fare would be similar to that of low-floor buses. The service will be expanded with 300 more electric buses in the city if the service proves to be profitable. The Goldstone Infratech Ltd company, which has a contract with the Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU), is providing electric buses to the transport corporation for the trial run to check its viability in local road conditions.

“Currently the KSRTC has taken a free trial version for 15 days. If we decide to extend the service across the state, buses would be taken on rent for `46 per km,” said KSRTC CMD Tomin J Thachankary.
At a time when fuel prices are going up, the electric buses would be a relief to the corporation. These buses will help cut down fuel cost in addition to avoiding pollution.

Compared to conventional diesel and CNG buses the running cost of these buses will be very low. The electric buses will have a number of features for the public, including CCTV, GPS tracker, entertainment section and kneeling mechanism for differently abled, pregnant women and senior citizens. It’s a fully air-conditioned bus with 40 push back seats and reduces noise pollution inside and outside the bus.

ASRTU has provided e-buses for other states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana.KSRTC is planning to induct 150 e-buses under Gross Cost Contract model in future.

Training staff on maintaining electric buses and fixing charging points in depots stand as some of the main challenges.

‘Charged’ up
The electric bus will be introduced on a trial basis for 15 days.
As of now, only one bus will operate in the city and ticket fare would be similar to that of low-floor buses
The service will be expanded with 300 more electric buses in the city if the service proves to be profitable



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