The state transport corporations are planning to operate 525 electric buses in 121 routes in eight cities, including Coimbatore, Tirupur and Madurai.
Erode, Salem and Vellore cities which are allotted 50 buses each under the FAME II would be operating buses in 15, 13 and 12 routes respectively. Thanjavur which has got the allocation 25 buses would be running buses in only four proposed routes.
Tamil Nadu has floated bids for procuring the 525 EV buses on the gross cost contract basis where the bidder will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the buses. Under the phase two of the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India) scheme, eight cities in the state - Coimbatore, Tiruchy, Madurai, Vellore, Salem, Erode, Tirupur and Thanjavur were allotted 525 electric buses.
Under the Gross Cost Contract, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) said that the state transport corporations would sign an agreement with an operator who will own the buses and maintain them. “However, the planning of routes, collection of fare will be done by the corporations themselves. The corporations will pay the operator per kilometer operated. The concession agreement will have clauses to safeguard the interest of the general public,” it said. A senior official of the transport department said that the routes mentioned in the tender documents are tentative in nature.
“The transport corporations can make changes in the operation of routes and schedules timing of the electric buses to cater the need of the passenger with prior notice of minimum one-week time to the operators,” the official said.