Can Buses become Fuel-Efficient? A New Guide
India’s public transport system is one of the World’s most heavily utilized, and is the primary mode of transport. In the subcontinent’s cities, buses account for over 90 percent of public transport. The new Transit Bus Operational & Maintenance Practices to Maximize Fuel Economy: Guidance Note has been developed by the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) to assist India’s bus operators to minimize fuel consumption in buses. “By reducing fuel consumption, the new guide will help bus operators save on the overall cost of fuel as well as reduce exhaust emissions,” says Ranjan Bose a Senior Energy and Transport Specialist, ESMAP.
As in many developing countries, the cost of fuel is higher than the total cost of operating buses in India, especially when labor and the cost of buses are low. Although buses are a cheap and convenient mode of transport for all classes of society, India’s bus transit system must become more fuel-efficient to yield economic and environmental benefits. As in many developing countries, reducing fuel use through targeted maintenance of buses in India can significantly reduce expenditures, and thereby free up resources for other city services.
The new guide is now being tested in India to validate its key recommendations and to see the extent to which fuel efficiency gains accrue. As India’s bus transit system is mostly run by government-owned transport corporations at the state level, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSTRC) has been selected to pilot-test the new fuel-efficient guideline. The testing will be carried out in two cities, Hyderabad and Vijayawada, for around three months. Some management related and long range development steps in the guidance note are not included in validation testing. Based on the results of this testing, the guidance note will be finalized by around April/May of 2011, and disseminated for implementation in several cities around the world.
Some Recommendations included in the Guidance Note for Improving Bus Fuel Consumption
- Appoint a senior executive to be in charge of improving bus fuel consumption. The executive will be rewarded based on fuel savings.
- Benchmark and set appropriate fuel consumption goals by bus type for each year.
Data Collection and Analysis
- Automate data collection to the extent feasible and use analysis software to support maintenance.
Bus Maintenance and Repair
- Select and repair 10 percent of the highest fuel consuming buses and track performance.
- Compare pre-repair and post repair fuel economy data in these buses to estimate program benefits.
- Require independent team audit of repairs across depots.
- Retrain mechanics and update repair procedures periodically.
- Train drivers in fuel efficient driving techniques and periodically re-train them.
- Select five percent of drivers with the lowest fuel efficiency and have special additional training.
Employee Communication and Rewards
- Publicly display fuel consumption reports for each driver and bus depot to employees.
- Reward mechanics at the depot level and drivers individually for exceeding fuel economy targets.
The new Transit Bus Operational & Maintenance guidance note will assist many developing countries, reduce fuel use through targeted maintenance of buses by significantly reducing expenditures, and thereby free up resources for other city services.
|Draft Guidance Note:Transit Bus Operational & Maintenance Practices to Maximize Fuel Economy||656.33 KB|