The waiting time for city residents to board Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses is set to be reduced to less than 10 minutes as the frequency of buses on all 75 routes will be increased, most probably from October this year. Passengers have to wait for around minimum 20 minutes now with the wait for a bus stretching for over an hour on certain routes.
Transport director TPS Phoolka said the corporation expected to get delivery of 219 new mid-size buses by October and the process of purchasing 116 more buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission was underway.
"With new buses coming, we aim at keeping the frequency between 5 minutes and 10 minutes. These buses will help us in providing better service," said Phoolka.
Recently, CTU got a survey conducted by EMBARQ, World Resources Institute (WRI) center for sustainable transport. The survey was conducted on 22 key routes of the city and found that the frequency of buses on these routes varies from 20 minutes to 75 minutes.
The frequency of buses plying to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) from different parts of the city is between 20 minutes to an hour. A total of 29 buses are pressed into services for ferrying passengers back and forth to the PGIMER. The longest waiting period is on the route from the Inter-State Bus Terminal in Sector 43 to Manimajra. With only two buses running on the route, the passengers are forced to wait for 75 minutes to board a bus.
Currently, 315 buses ply on different routes within city, connecting it with SAS Nagar and Panchkula, carrying 1.5 lakh passengers every day. The CTU has a sanctioned fleet of 517 buses and has purchased 219 new mid-size buses. CTU has also addressed the issue of manpower by making fresh recruitment of drivers and conductors.
Federation of Sector Welfare Associations Chandigarh (FOSWAC) Chairman Baljinder Singh Bittu said there the city's bus service needed an improvement.
"The improved public transportation system will help in addressing traffic congestion, which also causes fatal accidents," said Bittu.
To make the city's public transportation more effective, the Centre has allocated
`124 crore this fiscal.