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BEST induces 26 new 'no pollution' e-buses in Mumbai

The BEST undertaking has received the first batch of 26 electric buses out of 300 under the Centre-sponsored phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme, the official said.

BEST induces 26 new 'no pollution' e-buses in Mumbai
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The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport undertaking (BEST) induced 26 new electric buses under Central government-sponsored FAME India scheme on November 26.

The BEST undertaking has received the first batch of 26 electric buses out of 300 under the Centre-sponsored phase II of the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India) scheme, the official said.

The officials also stated that the buses are already registered at the RTO office and are likely to be introduced in public service soon. However, they will be deployed only on short routes.

According to BEST officials, the new electric buses, fitted with all modern amenities, are noise-free and do not emit harmful gases from the exhaust like the conventional buses.

As per reports, the latest addition takes the strength of BEST’s fleet of e-buses to 64, six of which are owned by BEST while the rest are taken on rent (wet-lease). The new buses are single-decker midi buses manufactured by Tata Motors.

Another BEST official said that a significant part of the funding comes from the Centre, but BEST pays a portion of the rent to the private agency which provides the vehicle along with drivers and also maintains the buses.

Till October end, the BEST had a fleet of 3,875 buses, of which 38 were electric buses. The first six electric buses were procured in 2017 while remaining 32 buses were hired on lease under phase 1 of the FAME India scheme.

BEST buses are the second-biggest mode of transport in Mumbai, after the suburban local trains.

Although the number of passengers has dropped since the COVID-19 pandemic, BEST buses generally ferry nearly 35 lakh passengers from Mumbai and neighbouring Thane, Navi Mumbai and Mira Bhayandar cities.

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