The plan of Maharashtra State Regional Transport Corporation to switch its complete diesel-powered Shivneri bus fleet, which operates on the Pune-Mumbai route, to e-buses has been cancelled due to the potential risk of significant power outages in various cities, including Pune.
As per the information provided, it is impossible to halt all diesel buses. Although Mumbai does not face significant electricity outage problems, power issues can arise in Pune, Thane, and Dadar. These power problems may impact the functioning of e-buses as they require electricity for recharging.
As per the information received, the entire fleet of diesel-run Shivneri buses, which consisted of approximately 105 buses, would be replaced by the e-Shivneri brand of electric buses. However, the current situation is that there are now 85 e-Shivneri buses operating between Pune and Mumbai’s Borivali, Thane, and Dadar.
Additionally, there are still 20 diesel-run Shivneri buses and over 20 semi-luxury Hirkani buses on the same route. This change in plan ensures that in case of any power-related emergencies, the 20 diesel buses will continue to operate to avoid inconveniencing the passengers.
Earlier this year, e-buses commenced their operations on the Mumbai-Pune route. In May of the previous year, MSRTC initially introduced e-buses between Pune and Ahmednagar. A representative from MSRTC emphasized the significance of the Pune-Mumbai route, as it serves as a prominent transportation corridor for them.
On a daily basis, Shivneri buses alone transport approximately 6,000 individuals, with a total of around 100 buses, including Shivneri and Hirkani, operating between the two cities. Given the importance of this route, MSRTC is determined to prioritize safety and reliability. E-buses have the capability to cover a distance of 300km without requiring a recharge when fully charged. In the coming year, MSRTC has plans to expand its fleet by adding 1,000 additional e-buses.
Commuters have expressed their concern regarding the condition of MSRTC’s other buses as well. It is evident that the Shivshahi buses operated by the transport utility are in a deteriorated state. Similarly, the older buses operating in various districts, particularly in rural areas, are also in poor condition.