The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC, headquartered in Mumbai, is planning to purchase 500 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, reports Times of India. Their fleet, totaling some 15,500 vehicles, already includes CNG buses. The tendering process will be initiated in March, officials said. Some of the buses are reportedly planned to be introduced on the Pune-Mumbai route on an experimental basis.
Stimulating MSRTC’s decision-making is increased operating costs after the government slashed subsidy on diesel fuel for bulk buyers. MSRTC has elected to try off-setting increased fuel costs by increasing the number of CNG-fueled buses.
The article states the company’s CNG buses, fitted with CNG kits, have an operational range of 300 kms, more than is required for bus routes around Mumbai. Furthermore there several CNG fueling stations around Mumbai and in nearby Pune, just over 150 kms away, that enable longer trips to Pune.