Chennai soon to get battery-run buses on select routes

Chennai: Chennai will join the global network of cities in tackling climate change with the Tamilnadu government deciding to introduce low-maintenance, battery-operated buses on select routes here.

Transport Minister M R Vijayabhaskar told reporters after chairing a meeting of a delegation from C40 Cities Finance Facility, UK, which undertook a feasibility study, that issues faced by other nations in operating such buses were discussed.

The state government then decided to take steps to operate the battery operated buses on select routes, he said.

The minister said the cost of each bus was high, but they were low on maintenance unlike diesel-operated buses.

“Once the batteries are charged, these buses can run upto 240 km. They can carry 54 passengers and can be operated in peak hours, reducing travelling time. This is not the case with diseel run buses,” he said.

The UK team was led by head of C40 Cities Finance Facility, James Alexander, and capacity development and municipal expert Jurgen Baumann.

The C40 website said that “Chennai joins the global network of cities committed to tackle climate change. The Greater Chennai Corporation shows its determination to create low carbon and resilient economies in support of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”

The Minister noted that Tamilnadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami recently flagged off 515 new buses on various routes across the state.

“Another 500 buses will be put into service for the public. Steps will be taken to operate the remaining 4,000 buses for the benefit of the public,” he said.

There was a good response from the public to buses run without a conductor and also to those with toilet facilities, he added.