September 10: Public transportation service backed by electricity has resurfaced in Kathmandu 18 years after the Trolley bus became dysfunctional. Sundar Yatayat, a private company, started operating four electric buses on the streets of Kathmandu from Monday, September 9.
Coincidently, these new buses are built in China, which had also manufactured the Trolley buses.
Inaugurating the bus service in the capital, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel recognized this as the first-of-its-kind service in Nepal.
“Although the electric bus is in initial phase, it has a long way to go,” he said, adding, “There might be lots of challenges ahead and the government is always ready to support,” he said.
Out of the seven buses purchased from China’s BAK company at a cost of Rs 115.5 million, four have been operating their services along the Narayanthan-Medicity route, Gongabu-Sallaghari route, Dhungedhara-Jorpaty route as well as around the ring road.
So far, the government has not issued the ticket price of electric vehicles. However, Sundar Yatayat has claimed that it will operate its services by charging the customers 20 percent less than other public vehicles. The company will also introduce smart cards for cashless payment. The card can be purchased for Rs 215.
The company has said it will operate other three vehicles once it gets route permit.
The electric bus with a capacity to accommodate 30 to 40 people at a time runs 265 kilometers after charging the battery for 6 hours. The company has also installed charging stations at Sukedhara, Chabahil and Sitapaila.