When he became transport minister in December 2008, there were 3,200 buses in DTC’s fleet. In less than three years, not only has the number of buses increased to 6,200, DTC’s earnings too have risen from Rs 75 lakh a day to Rs 3.5 crore. And now transport minister Arvinder Singh has assured all the commuters Delhi will soon get cluster buses on more routes. Excerpts:
Though the number of buses in the DTC’s fleet has increased, commuters still complain of poor frequency. What are you doing to address that?
We have rescheduled bus timings on several routes. All buses now have a global positioning system which has started giving us feedback if there is bunching of buses on a particular route or there are no buses somewhere.
Such data is being fed into computers to work out a computerised schedule on all routes. Delhi is also going to get cluster buses on more routes. The next six months will see a complete overhauling of the DTC bus service.
While commuters wait endlessly for buses during afternoons, there have been complaints of empty buses being taken to depots.
We cannot have the same frequency of buses in the afternoon as we have during peak hours. On such routes where the number of commuters is high, even during afternoons, we have asked the staff to change shifts at the terminal itself rather than running empty buses to the depot.
The route rationalisation study has been done scientifically. Once implemented, it will solve a majority of the problems.
There are also complaints of buses being terminated halfway. How do you plan to solve this problem?
There may be some aberrations, but largely the bus crew completes the trip. The entire fleet of DTC buses has GPS systems which are being monitored at every bus depot.
Any change in the route will immediately alert the control room and the bus crew would be liable for prosecution.