The new batch of DTC bus drivers and conductors are giving a whole new meaning to the adage of learning on the job. Fresh out of driving schools, these young drivers routinely forget the designated routes of the buses they drive. Some even end up asking passersby for directions.
With the Delhi government quickly phasing out the Blueline buses, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) did not have enough time to wait for its new batch of drivers to get acquainted with the bus routes of the city.
“It is possible that drivers do not know the routes in the city. Most of them have been just recruited and have not spent much time on the road. But we believe they will soon get acquainted with their respective routes,” said a senior DTC official on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to the media.
According to DTC officials, there is no specific training provided to drivers as far as getting acquainted with the routes is concerned. So far, drivers are just told the bus route number they are supposed to drive on, but not provided with any sort of route map or told about the bus stand that fall on the route.
DTC has also received a number of complaints from commuters who routinely complain of not reaching their destination, as the driver did not know the correct directions and strayed off the designated route.
“These drivers do not know the route. Once I was going to Uttam Nagar in route number 724 bus from Nehru Place Terminal. After a point, we all realised the driver was clueless. After that we told him the route. He said he was young and it was his first day on that route," said Sameer Paliwal, a government employee.
To tackle this problem, the DTC has now decided to provide route maps to all their drivers and conductors to help them get acquainted with the route. “All our drivers would be carrying route maps of their designated routes,” added the officer. At present the DTC has recruited more than 2,000 drivers to take care of the new fleet of low-floor buses.