The Authority has invited companies to bid for operating the service, maintain the buses and propose financial models, as well. A meeting has been scheduled for January 19 to discuss the proposals, with the Authority planning to select a model that is both cost-effective and efficient.
The companies that will participate in the meeting are mostly original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of electric vehicles. These firms will have to present innovative ideas and share successful implementation models for such projects in other parts of the country.
Some of the models that the Authority is likely to explore are ‘CapEx’, where the company handles both procurement of the buses and their operations. The gross cost contract model is another option, where a private agency handles procurement, maintenance and operations on a kilometre basis. The third model is viability gap funding, where the firm is responsible for procurement, maintenance, operations and revenue collection as well.
In addition to these models, companies can showcase any other innovative or hybrid ideas that can expedite the adoption of electric buses and contribute to Greater Noida’s vision of a sustainable and eco-friendly urban transport network.
The participating firms will have to highlight key achievements in the field of electric buses, showcase cutting-edge technologies employed in the design and manufacturing of these buses, and provide a comprehensive plan for charging infrastructure. They must also present strategies for proactive maintenance schedules, minimising downtime, and ensuring optimal service efficiency.
Officials said the need for a proper bus service was all the more for Greater Noida West, where over 100 group housing societies have come up of late and many more are in the pipeline. The introduction of city buses is expected to provide convenient access to metro stations for residents and offer a more affordable transportation option compared to cabs and auto-rickshaws.
Moreover, since these buses will connect Noida and Dadri as well, hundreds of workers who commute between these two places are likely to benefit from them. Similarly, those from Noida who come to Greater Noida for work can also avail of the service.
Officials said they were yet to decide on the routes, but suggested they would depend on the passenger traffic.
Earlier, the Greater Noida Authority had collaborated with UP Roadways to run city buses. However, the service had to be discontinued for low footfall. The Authority would pay the Roadways INR 30 lakh a year for this service. The current shift to electric buses is expected to be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, officials said.