Soon, Blueline buses may be back on city roads, albeit in a different avataar.
In an effort to provide some relief to Blueline bus operators, the transport department has come up with a proposal to take over the buses and operate them under the kilometre scheme.
According to the scheme, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will take over about 700-800 Blueline buses initially on a two-year lease. While the Blueline operators will be paid a fixed amount for each kilometre each of these buses would ply on every day, the DTC will pocket the revenue earned from the sale of tickets.
"The scheme would not only benefit the Blueline bus operators — who have been pursuing the government to provide them some alternative to remain in business — it will also strengthen the DTC's fleet," said a senior Delhi government official requesting anonymity.
Sources said only those buses that are in good condition and have a life of at least five years and valid permits will be accommodated in this scheme.
According to Delhi government officials, the proposal would soon be discussed with Blueline operators. "Once the Blueline operators and the DTC agree to the amount that will be paid for each bus, it will be presented before the Delhi Cabinet for approval," an official said.
Interestingly, the government had prepared a similar scheme in December 2010 when it started phasing out Blueline buses, but it failed to take off after the operators refused to accept the amount being offered to them. While DTC had proposed R21 for each km a bus would ply, the bus owners were demanding R31-32 per km per bus.
Sources said this time, the transport department has worked out a figure to which both the DTC and the bus owners would agree.