We have talked about some models for BMTC to outsource or competize some parts of its operation. (Reforms around BMLTA...). We had seen UP government try this, thought not for city buses. Now last week, I see this notice from Punjab goverment wanting to introduce privatization for city public transport. the best part is, they are doing it under JNNURM!
The notice, called expression of Interest (EOI), invites "Bus Operators" to help with:
"part financing & procurement, Operation and maintenance of city buses on specified Routes under City bus services project in Amritsar & Ludhiana under JNNURM".
You can read the full EOI press release here (TOI epaper link). It talks of
- 150 buses for Amritsar, 200 for Ludhiana
- Three categories: Low fllor, Semi-low floor, and mini-bus
- I see AC as well as non-AC mentioned for all bus types
- 15 routes in each city (total 30)
- Project being implemented under a "sustainable PPP" model.
Exact model is not clear - will they hand out each (of total 30) route to best bidder, and have one operator per route on a "performance based renewal basis", or will they have multiple operator per route?
And what could BMTC do? It has two options:
- Try to bid for this EOI, and do business in Punjab
- Learn from Punjab (and UP in recent past), and think about some outsourcing or privatization for its own operatons as well.
There is no website mentioned by Punjab government, hope papers will carry more than just tenders to help us track how their experiment goes.