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Saturday, 21 February 2015

17 Volvo AC buses to hit Visakhapatnam roads in March - Vishakhapatnam

 The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is all geared up to launch Volvo AC buses on the city's roads as part of its summer action plan. As many as 17 buses are slated to drive into the city before March this year under the Jawaharal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The RTC authorities have already sent a 50-member team comprising drivers, conductors and mechanical staff to Bangalore for training on Volvo bus operations. All the 17 buses will be attached to the city-based Maddilapalem depot of the corporation. The RTC will charge a premium of nearly 20-25% on Volvo bus tickets.

Already three routes have been identified for the Volvo buses. Seven buses will be allocated to the Visakhapatnam-Anakapalle route via Gajuwaka, Scindia, Kurmannapalem, Convent Junction. The second route is Visakhapatnam-Vizianagaram via Madhurawada, Anandapuram and Tagarapuvalasa, for which too seven buses have been allocated. Three buses have been allocated to the Kottavalasa-RK Beach route via Pendurthy, Gopalapatnam, Kancharapalem and Jagadamba Centre.

Currently, there are only two AC buses plying in Vizag city in addition to the nearly 750 non-AC buses servicing different routes up to Anakapalle towards Rajahmundry, Bheemili towards the coast and Vizianagaram.

A Ramakrishna, executive director, APSRTC Vizianagaram zone, said, "While the zone was sanctioned 105 buses, including 30 AC buses under JNNURM, we have been informed that we will get 17 AC Volvo buses in March this year. We will deploy all of them in Vizag city before the beginning of summer. Each bus costs Rs 95 lakh and the total cost of the 17 buses - Rs 16.15 crore - will be shared by APSRTC (40%) and the Centre (60%). Subsequently, we will get 75 non-AC Volvo buses, each costing Rs 32 lakh."

R Sasidhar, director (central projects), APSRTC, said that while 80 Volvo AC buses have already been deployed at Hyderabad and 11 at Vijayawada, another 19 Volvo AC buses are expected to arrive in March, including 17 for Visakhapatnam and two for Vijayawada.

The Union ministry of urban development will provide the buses to APSRTC, which will be responsible for operating and maintaining the low floor buses that will be senior citizen and physically challenged friendly. The Maddilapalem depot in the city has prepared a special shelter for the maintenance and cleaning of its new fleet of Volvo AC buses, which will have facilities like passenger information systems, automatic vehicle location system, security camera network system, vehicle health monitoring and diagnostics, on-board pole mounted ticketing machines, automatic door locking and opening, among others.

Source: TOI, 20th Feb 2015 

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