A 30 member delegation from India visited International Bus Conference 2019 organised by UITP . The delegation consisted of ASRTU, BMTC, KSRTC, DTC to name a few. The delegation was a right mix consisting of heads of bus companies (STUs), regional managers, technical personnel, finance personnel to study every aspect of successful bus operations in a city and state.
The delegation visited Belgium between 21-25 October and had varied experience of visiting various Exhibition stands of companies, immersive experience in UITP stand, informative sessions during conference, two technical visits to Bus Depots in two different cities.
With the FAME II scheme in place India is going through electric bus revolution and that was the key focus of the delegation as well as most of the bus companies are in a stage of procurement of electric buses for their cities and states.
Allego, a leading reliable charging solutions provider to cities, companies and consumers, hosted the delegation on their stand in the exhibition, explained about their solutions and answered to many concerns that the delegation had.
STIB, the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company and local public transport operator in Brussels, Belgium hosted the delegation in Haren Depot, wherein the delegation took a ride on an electric bus, witnessed opportunity charging facilities and got many questions answered on procurement and operations of electric buses over a period of time. The Haren depot visit provided a lot of clarity to the delegation on the challenges of planning, procurement and operations of electric buses and how to overcome them.
While making public transport free or not is an ongoing debate in India, the delegation decided to visit a city that has already taken a step and has planned to free public transport for all -Luxembourg. This time the delegation visited a private operator Sales-Lentz with support from Allego, wherein they were hosted by Director General- Technical of Sales-Lentz in Bascharage Depot. Although the visit was planned to be short but the delegation found so much to learn and experience in the depot that they ended up spending substantial time in the depot. They experienced riding electric buses of various manufacturers and took a feedback on what are the pros and cons of each model, they experienced riding on autonomous vehicle that is being run as a shuttle , witnessed various charging infrastructure facilities and visited the state of the art monitoring and control centre of the operator.
Overall visit to International Bus Conference and allied Technical visits organized by UITP especially for the India delegation has been an eye opener and would help the participants in finding solutions in innovative ways.