From vacuum cleaning buses every day to checking the functioning of automatic doors, from keeping batteries adequately charged to checking windshield washers — transport department has devised a maintenance strategy for optimum productivity and increased longevity of the newly launched electric buses.
In the last few weeks since the swank buses were introduced on different routes in the city, certain technical glitches in operation have made the officials realize the fleet needs professional and regular maintenance, unlike the non-AC buses that form the bulk of the fleet.
The government has purchased 100 electric buses to introduce an environment-friendly mode of public transport and decrease reliance on polluting buses that run on diesel.
Reorientation of drivers, who have been used to driving diesel buses, will be a big component of the maintenance strategy to ensure the fitness of the vehicles.
The transport department has acquired around 100 electric buses out of which 40 are already ferrying passengers on different routes. Additional 60 buses are expected to hit the roads soon. Since such buses are plying within the city for the first time, the government wants to have a strategy in place for the maintenance of these buses and extract optimum productivity. Some of the routes on which electric buses have been introduced are between Shyambazar-Santragachhi, Kudghat-Airport, and Joka-Airport.
“The maintenance of electric buses is very different from the diesel ones. They need professional handling and regular maintenance. We are roping in an agency which has experienced manpower in maintaining electric buses. Trained personnel of the manufacturers are also helping us and our drivers,” said a transport department official.
Trained professionals will be stationed at the nine depots where the buses are parked and which also have charging stations.
“This exercise is needed for the optimum productivity, longevity of the buses and safety and comfort of the passengers,” said an official.
The government has introduced electric vehicles as they are environment-friendly. In the past year, the air pollution level in the city has been very high with environmentalists blaming diesel-run buses for it.