Thiruvananthapuram: Soon, Kerala streets will witness 'metro-like' buses, with automatic fare systems powered by green energy plying through its routes. The buses are part of the PM's e-Bus Seva scheme, under which 10,000 electric buses will be provided to 169 cities under a public-private partnership (PPP) model. Kerala will get 950 buses, for 10 cities. The low-floor electric buses will be of two categories, -- 12-metre and nine-metre in length. Kerala has expressed a desire, mostly for the 12-metre buses. Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will each receive 150 buses.
Along with the buses, drivers will be provided under the scheme. The state should meet fuel expenses. The Centre will provide charging stations. Also, the State has to give a share of revenue to the Centre, based on the kilometers operated. The package finalized is such that the State will get a profit of Rs 10-15 per km, after paying the Centre’s share and meeting all other expenses.
Each nine-metre bus will have to operate a minimum distance of 160 kms and the 12-metre bus 180 kms. A committee chaired by the State Chief Secretary will be formed to coordinate with the Centre and hasten proceedings regarding the allocation of the buses. A meeting, involving top officials of the Transport Department, will be held in the coming days to discuss the various directions put forward by the Centre, Transport Minister Antony Raju said.