The Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) cherry coloured air-conditioned buses will not be seen anymore on the Ring Road after a few days.
As DTC is facing losses on the Ring Road Mudrika route, it has decided to pull out the AC buses from there and deploy them on a more profitable route.
About three weeks ago, DTC had deployed eight AC buses on three routes –– Ring Road Mudrika, Ambedkar Nagar to New Delhi Railway Station (522) and Mehrauli to Anand Vihar Bus Terminal (534). While DTC is making some profit on the other two routes, the Mudrika route has fallen below their expectations. It had put two buses on Mudrika route and three buses each on the other two routes.
“While our operational cost for the AC buses is about Rs 36 per kilometre, we are only earning Rs 30-34 per kilometre on the Mudrika route. Since we are not making really good income on this route, we will review the reasons behind the loss,” said DTC’s Chairman and Managing Director, Ramesh Negi.
“We would like maximum usage of these buses and would put it on some more profitable route,” he said. The income from the other two routes is around Rs. 40 per kilometer on average, he added.
DTC plans to get 25 AC buses in total by this year end and 17 more such buses would be added to its fleet very soon. The next batch of buses is expected to arrive in July. The fare of the AC buses is between Rs 10 and Rs 25.
Sources said the reason behind AC buses not making profit on the Mudrika route could be the steep fare structure and commuters using this route usually do not longer journeys.
“The pleasant weather might also be a reason that people are not tempted to shell out more for using these buses,” a DTC official said. The normal fare on standard and non-AC low floor DTC buses ranges between Rs 3 and Rs 5.
DTC is now planning to start more AC buses from the busy Connaught Place area as it expects more users here who would not mind shelling out more money for the comfort.
The routes include Uttam Nagar to Connaught Place, Vasant Vihar to Connaught Place and Tara Apartments to Connaught Place (through Nehru Place)