Delhi Metro is increasing its network, but feeder buses are available at select stations and services are erratic too.
We had never thought that the DMRC will be running a feeder bus service. Our primary job is to build and operate the Metro. We started feeder services in 2007 to facilitate people. The buses were started on routes where there was no public transport. Our job is to augment and support the bus services being run by the state transport authority and the Delhi Transport Corporation and we are trying to do our best.
Even when the bus is there, commuters are often made to wait, especially in late evenings. Complaints like the staff misbehaving with commuters are also common.
At most stations, there are very few passengers after 8.30 p.m. Stations like sectors 9 and 14 in Dwarka, Uttam Nagar and stations on Line 1 (Rithala-Dilshad Garden) hardly have passengers after peak hours. It is a viability problem for the operator if the bus carries just 2 or 3 passengers. We cannot increase the fare to make it more viable for the operator. So, sometimes passengers have to wait for people to come.
How does Delhi Metro deal with the complaints against feeder buses?
We often penalise the driver and the conductor if we get a serious complaint against them. We have a feeder bus service cell monitoring the operations. Whatever complaints come to the complaint cell, they are looked into. Our team gets in touch with the complainants.
What are your plans to strengthen the feeder service?
We have placed an order for 300 air-conditioned buses, which will start coming in from February 2010. Since we cannot run these buses ourselves, we have to depend on the operator. To ensure better services, we will have three operators running these buses, instead of one. Each operator will be given 100 buses each to run. We will soon float a tender in this regard.