Mangaluru: Commuters can look forward to a more eco-friendly journey from Kasaragod, Bhatkal, and Manipal to Mangaluru International Airport, as KSRTC plans to introduce electric buses for these routes. The initiative aims to promote sustainability and provide efficient transport options for travelers.
A Cleaner Commute
In a progressive move towards eco-friendly transportation, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is set to launch electric buses connecting several key locations to Mangaluru International Airport. These electric buses will operate on routes connecting Kasaragod, Bhatkal, and Manipal, making the airport more accessible to travelers. This eco-friendly initiative aligns with the global trend of adopting electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability.
Replacing Conventional Buses with Electric Buses
The decision to introduce electric buses follows the withdrawal of Volvo buses due to low patronage. By replacing conventional buses with electric ones, KSRTC aims to encourage more passengers to use these services and contribute to a greener environment.
The Electric Bus Network
Four electric buses will ply on the Kasaragod-Mangaluru International Airport route, as well as routes from Bhatkal and Manipal. These electric buses will offer convenient and sustainable transport options for passengers traveling to and from the airport. The electric buses will not require special permits, only registration, making them easily accessible to travelers. Airline companies will also share information about electric bus timings and routes on their websites, ensuring passengers are well-informed.
Enhancing the Mangaluru Division
In addition to the electric buses, KSRTC plans to expand and enhance its Mangaluru division. Out of the 45 electric buses allocated to the division, four will be dedicated to the airport route. The remaining electric buses will serve routes connecting Dharmasthala, Udupi, Kasaragod, Kundapura, and Bhatkal. To support the electric bus network, charging points will be established in Mangaluru, Udupi, Kundapura, and Dharmasthala. These charging points will facilitate the eco-friendly travel of the electric buses, which can run for up to 200 kilometers once fully charged, with a charging time of approximately four hours.
Expanding Bus Services
While the electric bus initiative is a significant step toward sustainability, KSRTC’s efforts do not stop there. The Mangaluru division is set to introduce eight Pallakki buses with a new design that will operate between the city and Bengaluru. However, there are no plans to introduce new express buses at this time. Meanwhile, the Puttur division will receive nine new buses, further enhancing the public transport network.
A Proposal for Further Expansion
KSRTC is actively considering proposals to allocate additional buses on 57 other routes. This expansion would require the recruitment of 198 staff members, including drivers, conductors, and technicians, to operate and maintain the new bus services. If approved, these additional buses would connect Mangaluru to locations such as Karkala, Moodbidri, and North Karnataka districts, offering a broader and more comprehensive public transport network.
Addressing Staffing Needs
At present, the Mangaluru division faces a staffing shortage of 361 permanent employees. While 187 staff members have been recruited on a contractual basis, an additional 180 are still required to meet staffing needs. Furthermore, 40 to 50 staff transfers are still pending. Addressing these staffing challenges is essential for the successful expansion and operation of the public transport network in the region.