Volvo has partnered with ASRTU since it first introduced its bus in 2001. Over the last 14 years, the company has introduced several new concepts and technologies that have now become benchmarks. With the support of ASRTU and its members, Volvo has become a name synonymous with luxury, comfort and safety. Several STU members have played a key role by adopting Volvo intercity coaches and city buses.
“We are delighted that the Central Government is driving the agenda to promote public transport. Volvo has a rich history that entwines with the evolution of urban mobility in India. We have partnered with the ASRTU and other stakeholders to bring in products & solutions that have become benchmarks. With the focus on sustainable solutions and clean technology through the FAME India scheme, the future certainly looks promising. Volvo has a proven track record in the area of Electromobility and we are ready to bring in path breaking products here,” said Akash Passey, Senior Vice President, Volvo Group’s bus operations, responsible for international markets including Asia.
VRV Sriprasad, Managing Director, Volvo Buses India, said, “The 50th Year of ASRTU is gives us the opportunity to strengthen our partnership with the aim to take public transport in India to the next level. Over the years, Volvo Buses has built and strengthened its capabilities and competencies in India. This would immensely benefit all our customers, besides other stakeholders. Together we will help public transport become better than ever before.”
Volvo and ASRTU – A Partnership that Transformed Public Transport
Since it first entered India in 2001, Volvo Buses has adopted the approach of partnership and close collaboration with all stakeholders. The objective was not just to sell the buses but to make a difference – to cities, operators, the bus industry, drivers and passengers.
The partnership with Association of State Road Transport Undertakings (ASRTU) and its members has resulted in transforming the public transport landscape in India. In the last 14 years, our coaches have become the preferred choice for passengers on many of the important intercity routes. At the same time, city transport authorities have shown the vision and intent by adopting Volvo city buses.
The change first started in Karnataka with KSRTC taking the leap of faith and became the first to start trials with Volvo’s intercity coach. This perhaps set the trend for other STUs as well as state government undertakings to adopt Volvo coaches. More importantly, they aligned their services to reflect the premium image of a Volvo. So service brands like Airavata, Garuda, Shivneri, among others became common place.
During the initial years, Volvo coaches were operating on several key intercity routes like Mumbai-Pune, Bengaluru-Chennai and Bengaluru-Hyderabad, among others. Importantly, they became the preferred choice for passengers, who for the first time found a credible alternative to train journey.
Another trend that started with Volvo buses was the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model. In 2003, the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation pioneered the PPP model among STUs for hiring Volvo coaches. This set off another change in the way STUs operated with others adopting the same approach.
In 2005, Volvo brought in the next wave by introducing the concept of modern low-floor air-conditioned city buses. This time the city of Bengaluru took the initiative and conducted trials. The rest, as they say, is history. While Bengaluru took to the Volvo city bus in a big way, it motivated many other cities adopt this urban mobility solution. Today, there are over 1,500 Volvo city buses operating in 30 cities.
Volvo also kept raising the benchmark by bringing in still newer concepts such as the Volvo 9400 multi-axle coach in 2008; India’s first 14.5m multi-axle coach with tag-axle in 2012; all new Volvo 8400 city bus as per the Urban Bus Specifications.
In India, Volvo’s operations encompass product development competencies, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, and products that address both passenger aspirations and mobility demands of our cities.
Volvo Buses – The India Journey
Volvo Buses has been in India since 2001 and has built considerable experience when it comes to high-performing bus applications. Volvo Buses has been driving change in the industry introducing various firsts in India – including the true-bus chassis concept; low-floor city bus concept; multi-axle coaches.
More than 5,300 Volvo buses operate on Indian roads, providing the best travel experience in terms of safety, luxury and comfort to people. Volvo coaches connect major cities across India, while 1,500 city buses currently operate in 30 cities across the country. These buses have played a key role in driving quality of life for millions of people.
UD Buses an integral part of the Volvo Group and originates from Japan. In 2014, Volvo Group unveiled the UD Buses brand as part of its strategy to foray into the value segment in growth markets. India is now the first market where this brand is being introduced.
The first product from UD is the SLF semi low-floor city bus that will create the benchmark in the new segment with features that impart the best performance with the focus to excel at essentials such as fuel efficiency, reliability and optimised uptime. This bus is currently undergoing trials with the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in Bengaluru.
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