Electric buses to be brought for use in Male' area

The Transport Ministry has said it is working to bring in more electric buses for use in the existing bus service provided by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) in Male' City.

Deputy Minister of Transport Hamad Abdul Ghani told AVAS that the buses are being brought by MTCC. Six electric buses will be brought to Male' by October, and the buses are expected to be put into service by November, he said.

"MTCC is sharing this information with us weekly. As charging stations are required [for the new buses, we are already working on establishing the stations," Hamad said.

Hamad said the new electric buses have been designed and customized to anticipate traffic and road conditions in Male' City. He said the government initially planned to begin bus service in Male City using electric buses, but that oil-fueled buses were later used to start services sooner due to road condition of some roads and for the convenience of the people.

“When the electric buses are in service, we are contemplating moving some of the buses currently running in the city to the atolls,” Hamad said.

The mini-bus public transport service was launched in Male' City on September 5. The fare for a minibus ride is MVR 7. However, children below the age of three, students in school uniforms, and those over 65 years can travel free of charge. MTCC made the first two weeks of service free for commuters but later extended the duration to four weeks. Since the launch of the minibus service, over 120,000 people have traveled on the bus as of last Wednesday.

Bus QR tickets can be purchased through the RTL website and application. The RTL mobile application can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.

The min bus service is organized to cover four neighborhoods of the city. A total of 40 bus stops have been established on the bus routes, and buses will arrive at each stop every 15 minutes. Eighteen buses are being used to provide service, eight of which have ramps and wheelchair access for people with disabilities. There are 20 seats on special needs buses and 22 seats on other buses. In addition, ten people can travel standing.