Taking a step further to strengthen public transport in the Capital, the transport department has signed an agreement with a private company to run buses in cluster numbers 3, 4 and 5.
These three clusters, said transport department officials, will cover 69 bus routes mainly in north Delhi, central Delhi and along the Ring Road. While there will be 182 corporate-run buses in cluster 3, clusters 4 and 5 will have 148 and 120 buses, respectively.
While buses on cluster 1 are likely to hit the road from January 15, senior transport department officials said the company that bid the lowest price to run buses on cluster 2 has failed to complete the formalities.
Delhi transport secretary RK Verma said A.B. Grain Spirits Pvt. Ltd, the company that signed the agreement, will start running buses in the next six months.
Unlike cluster 1, which will only have low-floor buses, private bus operators in the remaining 16 clusters will be allowed to run standard floor buses of "urban specifications".
"One reason why cluster 1 got delayed was unavailability of low-floor buses.
"As standard-floor buses are easily available we hope these three clusters will be operational in time," said a senior transport department.
In 2007, Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) had drafted the Corporatisation of private bus operation in Delhi.
It was done primarily to replace the existing blueline buses which proved ineffective and were involved in a number of accidents.
The cluster bus operations will be supervised by DIMTS.
"The buses under the cluster scheme will be equipped with automatic vehicle location system tracking and reporting their location in real-time and electronic ticketing machines and automatic fare collection," a senior DIMTS official said.