Many global companies have chosen to start operations in Bangalore, which today is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. This provides many advantages for the city, but is has also resulted in a highly congested traffic situation. One way to improve the traffic situation is to entice the inhabitants to leave their cars and two-wheelers at home and take the bus instead.
Bangalore’s city bus operator, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), decided two years ago to invest in modern, air-conditioned city buses from Volvo and the experiences have been highly favorable.
“Passengers are very satisfied with the comfort provided by the Volvo buses,” says Upendra Tripathy, Managing Director of BMTC.
Half of the passengers in the Volvo buses previously traveled by car or two-wheelers, but have now chosen to ride the bus instead. As a result of the favorable experiences, BMTC has now placed an order for an additional 240 city buses from Volvo for delivery during 2008 and the beginning of 2009. 40 of the buses will be placed in traffic between the city center and the new airport. The remainder will operate on various routes in Bangalore.
The buses will be built in Volvo’s plant in Bangalore. Precisely as previously, the chassis will be produced in the joint plant with Volvo Trucks and the bodies in Volvo’s new body plant that was inaugurated at the end of January.
Volvo’s city bus in India is built on the B7RLE chassis and the body is designed after the Volvo 8700 European model. It features low entry, a wheelchair ramp and air conditioning. The 290-hp engine meets the Euro III emission standard.
“BMTC’s decision after two years of testing to now make a larger investment is an important step in our company’s development,” says Akash Passey, Managing Director Volvo Bus Body Technologies India. “Currently, we are the market leader with regard to luxury, air-conditioned inter-city buses and we are now also making a major advance in the city bus segment.”
“In addition to Bangalore, we have sold city buses to Pune, Chennai and Maysore. When we now have opened our own body plant, we have all the possibilities to grow, in India as well as on export markets.”