At least 600 buses, including 430 air-conditioned coaches, will be pressed into service for the FIFA Under-17 World cup matches from October 8, West Bengal Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said.
While the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) will ply 480 buses of its own, it has given permits to app-cab service provider Ola for 130 buses to Salt Lake Stadium from different parts of the metropolis on match days, Adhikari told newspersons here.
“All the buses have been decked up and drivers and conductors have been imparted training for the occasion,” Adhikari said adding, the buses will be used as a vehicle for branding West Bengal among the thousands of people who are expected to come to the city to see the World Cup matches.
“We will run shuttle service from Ultadanga, Karunamoyee and Milan Mela, which are a few kilometres from the stadium and each of these places will act as hubs for transporting spectators to and from the venue,” he said.
The minister said that 100 air-conditioned WBTC buses will be deployed for the shuttle service which would charge Rs 10 fare from passengers. These services will run every two to five minutes.
“Another 200 air-conditioned WBTC buses will be deployed as special service from different localities in and around Kolkata, including Howrah and Sealdah stations and Esplanade to transport spectators to the hubs at Ultadanga, Karunamoyee and Milan Mela,” state Transport secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said.
All these services will have a frequency of five to 10 minutes, he said.
Bandopadhyay said that 130 app-based AC buses will be pressed into service by Ola to the stadium from 12 different points in the city and for return journey also after the matches.
“Another 100 buses provided by South Bengal State Transport Corporation and North Bengal State Transport Corporation will transport people from different districts in the state,” Bandopadhyay said.
Apart from these, 80 WBTC buses will be provided for school and college students for transporting them to the stadium and back from different parts of the city.
Students having tickets for the matches can travel for free, he added.