To attract more tourists and earn higher revenue, the Delhi government is planning to make the purple-coloured Hop On Hop off (HoHo) buses roofless.
Currently, there are 14 low-floor air-conditioned buses which ferry passengers to and fro 19 tourist spots in the city. Delhi Tourism and Transport-ation Development Corporation (DTTDC), which had launched this service last year ahead of the Commonwealth Games, is now planning to have double-decker buses with roofless top.
“We are planning to have some of the buses roofless as it is there in London and other countries. We have discussed this with the private operator and we feel tourists would be more interested in travelling in such buses,” said GG Saxena, managing director of DTTDC, which manages the service jointly with a private company.
According to the officials, the private contractor who runs this service has been asked to place order for such buses. “In Delhi, due to the Supreme Court order, buses have to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and the buses keep all the cylinders on the roof. For roofless buses, this was proving to be a difficulty. But we have decided to reduce the number of seats downstairs and CNG cylinders can be placed there,” said a senior Delhi government official.
The corporation is still figuring out many other difficulties which it may face in running roofless buses. “There are a lot of flyovers and trees in the city which may raise safety concerns. We are also discussing the possibility of having a different route for the roofless buses,” said the official.
Keeping the weather conditions of the city in mind, the buses will not ply in summer and during monsoon. These tourist buses are fully air-conditioned and have tourist guides and LCD screens too.
The corporation is hoping that this initiative will help boost revenue. “Though there has been improvement, we want it to become a successful model. We have also tied up with schools by offering them a sightseeing facility at a discounted rate,” added the official.