ASTC signs agreement with Mercedes Benz

 GUWAHATI, Dec 12 – Bus commuters in the State are in for an all new experience soon. The Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) today signed an agreement with Mercedes Benz for operating around 175 buses manufactured by the German company in the State under a PPP model.

The buses will be operated under a 90:10 profit model to be shared between the company and ASTC.

“Mercedes will bear all the investment cost. We will just facilitate them. The staff recruitment will be also done by the company in the State,” ASTC managing director Anand Prakash Tiwari told The Assam Tribune.

The company will also operate inter-state buses besides those within the State, he said.

Sources said Mercedes will also set up special air-conditioned lounges for its passengers and other special features.

It will also provide door-to-door connectivity and link its services with cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.

“We will have virtually nothing to do. We will give them the route and facilitate them. The company will recruit all its staff from Assam. The ASTC will take a facilitation charge of 10 per cent and in case of courier service, 30 per cent,” the MD said.

The first set of around 10-15 buses are expected to arrive in the State by January.

ASTC sources said communications are also on with Swedish firm Scania for a similar project. The ASTC is learnt to have asked the company to “start work in the State” under the PPP model.

Over 2,000 buses operate under the ASTC at present.

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