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Is it a bus, is it a train? It’s MetroNeo, the newest mass transport system for Nashik

The central government recently urged all state governments to consider using MetroNeo technology in their tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

By making a sizeable budgetary allocation for MetroNeo in the Union Budget, the central government has paved the way for the innovative system of mass transport, which could soon be replicated across the country.

To be adopted for the first time in the country in Maharashtra’s Nashik, MetroNeo is a comfortable, rapid, energy-efficient and less noisy transport medium. The central government recently urged all state governments to consider using MetroNeo technology in their tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The Indian Express explains how the rapid mass transport system works, and what building a MetroNeo line in Nashik will entail.

Electric Bus Coaches

The MetroNeo service consists of electric bus coaches – their lengths varying from 18 to 25 metres – with a carrying capacity of 200 to 300 passengers at a time. The buses will have rubber tyres and draw power from an overhead electric wire with 600-750 V DC supply, similar to railways or trams. The buses will be air-conditioned, with automatic door closing system, level boarding, comfortable seats, passenger announcement system, and an information system with electronic display.

Feeder Bus Service

A Feeder Bus of 12-metre length will be battery-powered and run on the existing road on the two feeder routes. The feeder bus batteries will get charged while operating on the main corridors that will enable seamless travel with a wider coverage. No separate charging facility will be required.

Frequency of Service

The capacity of main corridors will be 15,000 PHPDT (peak hour peak direction traffic). The system has been designed in such a way that there will be a train service after every two minutes.

The stations will be similar to other Metro rail stations. They will have a staircase, lift and escalators with passenger information display. The station entry and exit will be provided on both sides of the road.

MetroNeo in Nashik

There is a plan to have two corridors initially. Corridor 1 will be of 100-km length with 10 stations, from Gangapur to Mumbai Naka. It will start from Gangapur followed by, Jalapur, Ganpat Nagar, Kale Nagar, Jehan Circle, Thatte Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Panchavati, CBS and end at Mumbai Naka.

Corridor 2 will be a 22-km long route with 15 stations, from Gangapur to Nashik Road. It will start from Dhruvnagar, followed by Shramik Nagar, Mahindra, Shaneshwar Nagar, Satpur Colony, MIDC, ABB Circle, Parijat Nagar, MICO circle, CBS, Sharda Circle, Dwarka Circle, Gayatri Nagar, Samta Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Nehru Nagar, Datta Mandir, and end at Nashik Road.

CBS will be an interchange station where the two corridors will intersect. There will also be two feeder corridors – one will run between Satpur colony and Mumbai Naka via Garware and the other will run between Nashik Road to Shivajinagar via Nandur Naka.

Project cost

The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 2,100.6 crore. The Maharashtra government, CIDCO and Nashik Municipal Corporation share will be Rs 552.19 crore, while the Union government will contribute Rs 387.56 crore for the project. The total government share will be Rs 939.3 crore and the remaining Rs 1,161.3 crore will be taken on loan. The Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (Maha-Metro) will implement the project.

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