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Taking a green step forward, Mumbai has logged its name as the first city in India to join the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) E-Bus Mission. The move is set to stitch a custom-made technical assistance roadmap for Mumbai to create and adapt to a long-term plan for the deployment of electric buses. As per reports, the letter of intent for the same was inked by the BEST, in the presence of the State Minister for Environment, Tourism and Protocol on Monday.

The need for electrification of public transport in Mumbai

Mumbai has woken up to the urgent call of creating an action plan to mitigate the impact of climate change and the electrification of public travel has been marked essential to realise the vision. In this regard, the city administration has deemed it fit to announce Mumbai's participation in the TUMI E-Bus Mission. The plan is a strong resolution to work towards reducing the carbon footprints of public transport and redefine the targets for e-bus induction on city roads.

The Minister for Environment stated that an upgrade to electric is pivotal to pace up the achievement of climate and air quality goals. The move is essential for all vehicle segments, big or small and deployment of E-buses will be a significant measure to streamline the use of alternative energy sources.

"The BEST has 386 EV buses currently and we are looking at 1900 EV buses & 200 double-decker buses, converting 50% fleet to electric by 2023 & 100% by 2028. WRI Cities India & GiZ will optimize a smooth transition for the consumer and last-mile connectivity for BEST.", the Minister added.

What will the TUMI E-bus Mission entail?

Launched as a branch of the Action towards Climate-friendly Transport (ACT)-Initiative (UNDG Summit, 2019). the TUMI E-bus Mission aims to develop a wide network of public-and-private-sector organisations within 20 'deep dive cities'. The coalition will be moved to ease the transition of regular fuel-run buses to e-vehicles added reports.

These links will then amplify to include 100 more cities under its scope by the end of 2022. Reportedly, the action plan targets to deploy 1 lakh buses in 500 cities by 2025. For Mumbai, the TUMI plan will include the following prospects:

  • Development of technical specifications for e-buses
  • Protocols for performance assessment
  • Planning the charging infrastructure
  • Operational routes
  • Financial models
  • Development of public policies

Through the project timeline, the TUMI E-Bus Mission will progress to include Mumbai in mentee cities network meetings for the purpose of knowledge sharing. In due course, Representatives of Mumbai will regularly engage with local, national and even global coalition partners at review seminars, conferences or workshops to share the lessons learnt during the e-bus transition phase. It is pegged that this move will smoothen the transition to electric for other cities.

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