Authorities are planning to transform the urban mobility scenario of the city with addition of fleet of new buses to the existing ones.
The Capital Region Urban Transport has got 29 new minibuses, while at the same time, decided to refurbish the 89 old buses that will start running on the city streets before the Men’s Hockey World Cup to be held here next month.
The new buses are at the depot of the manufacturer and later will be brought to the transport body’s official depot at Bhagabanpur. Then branding will be done on the buses, sources said. On the other hand, the 89 old buses will get a new look in line with the upcoming ones.
A senior official said the manufacturer would provide additional 56 new minibuses by Monday, so that the new fleet would have 85 buses. “As the entire city is going to have around 200 buses, 100 will be provided by Ashok Leyland, while Tata Motors will provide 100 buses,” he said.
The minibuses will have a capacity to carry 28 passengers. The other 100 buses will be divided into 50 standard air-conditioned vehicles and 50 standard ones.
A standard bus will have the capacity to carry 43 passengers. Tata Motors would supply these buses, an official said.
According to the plan, the transport body is going to run the city buses through two packages — package-I and package-II.
The refurbishing of 89 buses from its old fleet will be called as package-III. The refurbishing of old buses will be done in phases within the next six months from the commencement of work.
The decision was taken at the board of directors’ meeting of the urban transport body at the secretariat on Thursday. Once completed, the transport region will be expanded to Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Konark. Earlier, the bus services were confined to Puri and Bhubaneswar only.
“The city is growing in every manner, but the public transport service is not up to the mark. We always had to depend on cabs and auto-rickshaws to reach out to various destinations as there were not many buses plying in the city. I hope that with the new buses, the administration will also consider increase of the routes,” said Jayanti Hota, a schoolteacher.
With the chief secretary’s approval in December last year, the authorities had decided to introduce 300 city buses before November when the city will be hosting the hockey event. The authorities had also decided to increase the number of city buses to 600 by 2020 and to 1,200 by 2025.
Besides in May, the development authority has decided to revamp 100 bus shelters while creating another 100. The bus shelters are planned to be made of steel replacing the present iron frames.
There will be a city map near each of the shelter providing information about the bus routes. A digital display board will also be placed which will provide information about the bus timings and their status. The authorities will also keep a cycle stand near the shelters.