The ‘PM-eBus Sewa’ initiative, which aims to provide 10,000 electric buses to 169 cities through a public-private partnership (PPP) model, is set to launch within the next five to six months, according to the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry.
Union Urban Affairs Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri announced that the central government would soon procure air-conditioned buses for the program.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs, Manoj Joshi, stated that the scheme would be implemented in 169 cities, and states have until September 30 to submit their proposals.
Joshi highlighted that riding these electric buses would offer an experience similar to using a metro system. Tickets will be available through an automatic fare system, and operators running these buses will receive compensation ranging from Rs 20 to 40 per kilometer under the scheme. The scheme is a collaborative effort involving the central government, state governments, and service providers, with expectations of its success.
The Union Cabinet had previously approved the scheme to promote eco-friendly mobility, with an estimated cost of Rs 57,613 crore. The central government will contribute Rs 20,000 crore, and the remaining funds will be shared by the states. Priority will be given to cities lacking organized bus services, and the scheme is planned to run until 2037.
The PM-eBus Sewa initiative encompasses two segments: enhancing city bus services in 169 cities and promoting green urban mobility initiatives in 181 cities.
Electric buses will be introduced in cities with populations ranging from three lakh to 40 lakh, and the scheme will support bus operations for a decade. The selection of cities for the scheme will involve a competitive process.
Anurag Thakur, Union minister, explained that out of the Rs 20,000 crore allocated by the Indian government, Rs 15,930 crore will be directed toward buses, Rs 2,264 crore for infrastructure development and related facilities, and Rs 1,506 crore for green urban mobility.
The Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry clarified that cities would be responsible for managing the bus services and payments to bus operators under the scheme.