The very premise on which the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor was constructed — that the number of commuters who use public transport is much more than those using private vehicles — has fallen flat.
The latest figures collected by the DIMTS in the first week of May clearly reveal that the number of vehicles in the lane for motorised traffic is almost 51 times more than that of the bus lane.
The staff of DIMTS collected the data painstakingly in the first week of May at the Chiragh Delhi junction, the nerve centre of the BRT mayhem. Physical counting and close circuit television helped in compiling the data which questions the very basis of the BRT.
According to the figures, the average number of buses (DTC, Blueline, chartered, school buses, mini buses), which plied in the week from May 1 to May 7, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. are 2,173. All these used the bus lane. On the other hand, the number of private vehicles (cars, SUVs, two-wheelers and also auto rickshaws) during the same period was 1,04,168.
Interestingly, the government had earlier projected that 62 per cent of the people use buses as public transport while only 17 percent use private vehicles. With the latest figures, the claims of the government have fallen flat.
When contacted, Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said the department was “studying” the figures. “From day one, our aim was to help the commuters. We are continuously reviewing the project and introducing changes. The government would not do anything which harms the commuters’ interest,” the minister told Hindustan Times.
The alarming figures of DIMTS said buses account for only 1.87 of all traffic on the BRT sector. The non-motorised traffic — light cycles and rickshaws — account for around 9 per cent of the traffic, while the remaining 89 per cent is private vehicles.