The sleek red-coloured air-conditioned buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation received envious glances on Thursday when they rolled out on the city roads.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday flagged off the eight new air-conditioned Red Line buses from India Gate. The buses will initially ply on select routes in the capital, of which two will be on the newly constructed bus rapid transport corridor.
The cool temperature inside the bus and the comfortable ride was a far cry from the Delhi's privately-owned rickety Blueline buses that have been nicknamed "killer buses".
Dikshit's grand daughter Aafia, 7, liked the ride in the bus. “It is good. We enjoyed,” she told IANS.
"Log to dekhenge hi (people will definitely look)," said Red Line driver Satbir Singh.
The bus fare starts at Rs.10 and the maximum is Rs.25.
“The buses seem to be good. With such a reasonable fare, I am looking forward to more buses in the capital,” said Ritika, who had stopped by to have a look at the new buses.
"I do not mind paying Rs.10 if all the comforts are there," she said.
“By the month-end we are planning to induct 25 more buses. A thousand air-conditioned buses will be added to DTC's fleet by the end of 2009 or the beginning of 2010. The blueline buses will be phased out completely,” Delhi's Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf told IANS.
By 2010 there will be 5,000 new low-floored buses in the capital, of which 1,000 will be air-conditioned.
Director of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Sunita Narain said: “The buses will help in curtailing the pollution to a large extent. These air-conditioned buses will make people leave autos and private vehicles. They will help in checking congestion of Delhi's roads."