It is spending hundreds of crores on buying modern low-floor buses to upgrade its city fleet but for inter-state routes, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has decided to save money and take buses on lease instead.
To upgrade its fleet before Commonwealth Games 2010, the DTC requires 3,500 modern buses, including 300 diesel-run buses for its various inter-state routes.
But instead of buying buses, senior DTC officials said the corporation has decided to lease them from big manufacturers like the Volvo of Sweden and King Long of China for five years.
The fleet of 300 buses would include 75 air-conditioned and 225 non-AC buses and would cost about Rs 125 crore.
The drivers of these companies will run these buses while DTC will have their conductors on board. Maintenance of the fleet would also be the responsibility of the bus company.
The revenue collected through the sale of tickets would be pocketed by the DTC.
The fact that the bus companies would only be paid for actual distance covered by these buses, the system will ensure that the DTC does not lose money on idling fleet.
DTC officials said a pilot project with 10 air-conditioned buses would soon be launched on prominent inter-state routes.
“Life of buses on inter-state routes is not more than five years. After that we can run thee buses only on local routes. Since we cannot have diesel-run buses in Delhi, it would have become difficult to utilise the fleet. That’s why we decided against investing hundreds of crores on them,” said a senior DTC official.
According to senior officials, the DTC has just about 80-90 diesel buses to run on about 80 inter-state routes in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The addition of new buses will help DTC earn more revenue without making huge investment.