The Delhi Transport Corporation has been trying to raise fares to keep its fleet going but both the state and central governments feel the tariff should stay low to motivate people to use the services.
As such, the only way to earn revenue for DTC is property development and advertisements. A ministry of urban development (MoUD) committee has suggested development of bus depots to raise funds.
“This would maximise their development potential and consequently the revenue, which would in turn fund bus operations and maintenance; keep fare box at a low rate (so that more people can continue to afford using buses) and generate funds to purchase and develop further depot lands to accommodate more buses and generate more revenue. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has successfully implemented this model in the last decade and the same can be adopted for Delhi,” the report said.
The DTC suggested advertisements on the back of passenger and driver seats, on hand railings, LED screens and on the bus on the lines of metro coaches but no concrete step has been taken.
“Metro runs trains covered by advertisements and leases out space in stations. DTC has many depots and bus stops and there is a huge scope of generating revenue through advertisements. But these options have not been explored. A public transport service cannot expect to generate revenue just from ticket sales,” said a transport department official.
Experts say the corporation should focus on transit-oriented development (TOD) on the line of the metro and develop shopping complexes on depots.
“DTC can convert existing depots into multilevel shopping complexes and keep the ground floor for parking. It can be done on a public private partnership basis and revenue can be earned,” the official added.
As DTC’s depots are located on prime locations, road-facing unipole advertisements are a good option to earn money, the panel said and suggested budget hotels on viable locations.
“DTC should explore commercial complexes on commercially viable depots such as Vasant Vihar, Nehru Place, Hasanpur, Sarojini Nagar, Wazirpur, Subhash Place, Dwarka Depot-2 etc,” the official said.
The CAG has also observed that the corporation has 87 sites at prime locations in Delhi and 10 these properties are vacant.