The city will have a trial run for a trolleybus that will draw power from electric cables meant for trams, transport minister Firhad Hakim said last Saturday.
If the trial works out, the state government may consider introducing trolleybuses in the city, Hakim said.
A trolleybus is an electric bus that draws power from overhead wires using poles.
Engineers said two wires and two trolley poles were required to complete the electrical circuit.
Several countries, including the US, Canada, France and Switzerland, have been using trolleybuses as a part of urban electric mobility initiatives.
“We have decided to conduct a trial run with one bus. We need to find out whether what works in Australia will work here or not,” Hakim said.
“We have specifically told the exporters that the bus should be able to draw power from our existing cables meant for tramcars.”
The state government has been toying with the idea of introducing trolleybuses in Kolkata for some time now after a section of police said trams on some existing routes move against the flow of traffic and impede vehicle movement.
Talks on trolleybuses resurfaced after tram services along a few routes, including one in Shyambazar, was suspended for the time being, raising doubts among daily commuters whether the state government was planning to wind up tram services in Kolkata.
On Saturday, Hakim allayed the fears. “We will have to continue with tram services. But on certain stretches where the thoroughfares are comparatively narrower, trams were coming in the way of flow of traffic. So, we have thought of trying out trolleybuses on a trial basis.”
Hakim’s statement on introducing trolleybuses that run on electric power came within days of Kolkata receiving a pat from a UN panel for the city’s public transport and the multiple options available to commuters.
Hakim said the effort of the state government was aimed at bettering the city’s air quality.