With the demand for an effective transport system to provide last-mile connectivity to lakhs of commuters who travel by Metro trains getting louder every day, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has decided to make yet another attempt to revive its feeder bus service.
The DMRC will soon roll out 300 new buses to augment its feeder fleet. The buses will be bought and operated by a private company on a revenue- sharing basis with the Metro operator. However, keeping its previous bad experience with bus operators in mind, it will have to be seen whether the DMRC will actually be able to run and sustain an effective feeder system.
The DMRC has decided to divide 79 Metro feeder routes in three clusters and invite different companies to run the buses. “We have already called tenders from companies to procure and operate feeder buses,” said a senior DMRC official.
While a quick and reliable Metro service has earned Delhi Metro accolades, its feeder bus service has always been criticised. Launched in November 2007 to facilitate passengers who were often left with no transport facility to reach their destinations from Metro stations, the feeder bus service failed to provide a long-term solution.
While several warnings failed to streamline feeder buses, the Delhi Metro finally snapped its contract with Rajasthan Bombay Transport Corporation in March 2010, which was running 120-odd buses on 15 routes. Failing to get a good company to operate its buses, the Delhi Metro also cancelled its contract with Swaraj Mazda to acquire 300 air-conditioned buses .
While the Delhi Metro later got three different companies to run 100-odd buses on 16 routes, the service still leaves a lot to be desired.
DMRC started feeder services in November 2007.
While the starting of feeder buses saw a sudden surge in Metro’s ridership, the commuters soon started complaining about its poor service and rude staff.
However, the DMRC will soon roll out a fleet of 300 new buses to augment its feeder fleet.