Bus manufacturers with a keen eye for an export market will no doubt be interested to hear that big things may be happening in India.
Dipak K Dash of The Times of India reported this week that the Indian government is planning to roll out at least 85,000 new buses in rural areas... over the next five years!
I make that 17,000 new buses a year, every year, for the next five years.
The reason behind the proposal is a strikingly familiar one – the government wants to improve the quality and availability of public transport in a bid to shift people away from their personal vehicles and back onto public transport.
Experts from India's road transport and highways ministry have been concerned by the reductions in the numbers of people switching from bus to personal motor transport. Most Western observers would probably point to the growing wealth and aspiration of the country's population as the principal reason. However, the ministry believes that the gradual degeneration in the quality of public transport services is also a major reason why people are switching from public topersonal transport.
Introducing many, many more new buses, they feel, will reverse the trend.
Now, whether they are right or wrong in their assumptions, you have to admit that its certainly a bold plan.
More to the point, that's an awful lot of buses... and an awful lot of business for someone!