The Kochi Smart Bus Consortium (KSBC) has started the first compressed natural gas (CNG) powered private bus service of the state. The KSBC, a group of private bus companies, has signed an agreement with Kochi Metro Rail Limited in partnership with Axis Bank and Technovia Info Solutions to implement smart facilities in their fleets for passenger safety and convenience. 

The CNG conversion has been carried out by Edappally-based Metro Fuels. The private buses, which cover an average distance of 250 km every day, are estimated to save about Rs 40,000 per month by switching to CNG. According to Metro Fuels, the retrofit charges for buses will be around Rs 400,000, which can be recovered by the owner within a year’s time.

These buses will offer several passenger-centric facilities including Kochi1 Card-based ticketing system, on-board passenger information system, surveillance cameras and live streaming, AIS 140 vehicle location tracking with emergency buttons, woman ticket inspectors as well as OneDi online ticketing application.