City secures funding for 170 new buses
The city of Indore secured Rs. 70 crores ($14 million) from the Indian government's stimulus package to purchase 170 new transit buses featuring low-entry platforms and air conditioning.
The new fleet could double the city's total bus ridership, which measured at about 110,000 passengers per day in April 2008, according to Devika Mistry, institutional relations specialist for the Center for Sustainable Transport India (CST-India), which helped the city prepare its bid.
The funding also creates the opportunity to switch the entire fleet of buses to run on compressed natural gas, Mistry says.
The one-time assistance funding, allocated under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), was unveiled earlier this year to help mission cities purchase city buses for their bus rapid transit (BRT) systems.
Indore City Transport Services Ltd. submitted its bid for the new buses in less than 48 hours with assistance from CST-India and Mapunity Information Services, a Bangalore-based organization that develops geographic information systems and services for governance and public affairs.
CST-India Transport Engineer Madhav Pai presented the bid on behalf of Indore to Secretary Sri Ramachandaran of India's Ministry of Urban Development.
The bid was approved by local and state public agencies, including the Indore Municipal Corporation, Urban Administration & Development Department, and the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
"The bid solidifies Indore's position as the model city for sustainable transport," Mistry says, "and the most successful mission city to receive funding under the JNNURM fund."