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BEST’s green travel initiative wins UITP Award 2023

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking on Sunday won the UITP Awards 2023 in the 'Climate and Health' category for its green travel initiatives at the UITP Global Public Transport Summit held in Barcelona.

The award recognized BEST efforts in sustainable urban transport for its "BEST Green Travels Initiative: Creating Sustainable Public Transport". Lokesh Chandra (IAS) who led these innovations during his tenure as the General Manager, BEST, received the award. The undertaking was also among the top 3 finalists in the "Public and Urban Transport Strategy" award category.

UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics) is the International Association of Public Transport and sustainable urban mobility. Established more than 135 years back, it is the only worldwide network that brings together public transport stakeholders and all sustainable transport modes. The UITP Global Public Transport Summit is the world's biggest event dedicated to sustainable mobility which brings together industry, government authorities, and operators, as well as exhibitors for all modes of transport.

According to BEST, its key initiatives which were recognized at UITP Awards 2023 include

  • 10,000 e-buses:  BEST will be converting the entire fleet to electric buses and grow it to 10, 000 by 2026. The fleet will double from 3219 to 7,000 e-buses and grow to 10,000 e-buses.
  • Run on 100% renewable energy: The entire fleet will be powered by renewable solar energy. The 700 MW of solar energy needed for this has already been procured by BEST. An additional 330 electric vehicle charging stations are also being set up to help citizens transition from ICE to EVs.
  • Digital tickets and e-bus app: BEST digital ticket initiative has been the most successful initiative in India thus far. It offers passengers a range of services like digital tickets, live tracking of buses, live seat and status. It is currently being used by 1 in 3 bus passengers daily. BEST has also launched the country's first National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) to be issued by any city/state bus utility.
  • 100% digital buses – BEST operates India's first 100% digital buses where passengers use the BEST mobile app or card to tap in and tap out themselves.
  • Premium buses: BEST launched the country's first app-based premium city bus service with specially designed luxury buses. The buses connect business and residential hubs and also "Airport Express" buses to improve connectivity to Mumbai Airport -- India's second largest airport.
  • First and last-mile service: BEST is the first public transport undertaking to have introduced e-scooters at the bus stop for improving last-mile connectivity. 1000 e-scooters have been deployed at 200 points and according to BEST, it will grow to 5,000 e-scooters by 2023.
  • Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS): The complete passenger experience has been digitized through the BEST Chalo App to enable door-to-door journeys.

Owing to these initiatives, BEST has witnessed an overall 55% in ridership with daily passengers increasing from 22.5 lakhs to 35 lakhs. The switch to 100% renewable e-buses has also resulted in saving 6.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions and 6,000 million litres of fossil fuel.


Tata AutoComp-Tellus Power's fast chargers to enable e-bus charging in Mumbai, Ahmedabad -  

Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd along with Tellus Power Green, a US-based DC charging infrastructure company have supplied 64 (200kW )DC fast chargers that will be used for charging electric buses (e-buses) used for the operation of BEST in Mumbai and GSRTC in Ahmedabad.
Author : Shraddha Kakade
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