From November, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will have luxury buses running on its inter-state routes.
According to senior DTC officials, a contract is being signed with Volvo, a Sweden-based bus manufacturer, to provide diesel buses on five-year lease to run the service to the neighbouring states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
To start with, DTC will run air-conditioned buses on 10 routes to Chandigarh, Jaipur and Ajmer.
The scheme will later be expanded to neighbouring states where DTC run its inter-state bus service.
“We had initially planned to buy diesel buses. Since we need lot of money as well as time to buy buses, we have decided to take buses on lease so that we have our inter-state service strengthened before the Commonwealth Games," a senior DTC official said.
DTC runs buses on about 80 routes to Delhi’s neighbouring states.
While DTC requires at least 700 buses to cater to all these routes, it currently has only 60 to 70 buses, that too in a rickety condition, and has not been able to service commuters.
DTC will initially take 300 buses on lease from Volvo. The fleet of 300 buses would include 75 air-conditioned and 225 non-AC buses.
Officials said the terms and conditions, and the rates of taking buses on lease have been determined by the Association of Road Transport Undertakings.
While the bus manufacturer will have its own drivers to run these buses, DTC will have their conductors on board and would pay for fuel.
Maintenance of the fleet would be the responsibility of the bus company.
Officials said the revenue collected through the sale of tickets would be pocketed by the DTC.
“The system that the bus companies would only be paid for actual distance covered by these buses, will ensure that DTC would not lose money on idling fleet,” a DTC official said.