Delhiites can’t have enough of the air-conditioned buses recently introduced by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), it appears. The fleet of 25 red buses has been doing brisk business and raking in over twice the moolah earned by ordinary buses.
The business is so good that the Delhi government is now planning to increase the fleet of AC buses to 2000 — 750 more than the original target for August 2010.
“Given their popularity, we are thinking of increasing the number to 2,000. We will anyway get 1,000 running on the city’s roads by next year,” Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said.
The pilot run with 25 buses, mainly concentrated around the BRT corridor and central Delhi, has affirmed their financial viability. “On an average, a single low-floor AC bus earns Rs 8,000 per day, while an old bus earns about Rs 3,500 at most,” DTC general manager A.K. Goel said.
The increase in revenue is not just because of expensive tickets. Thanks to hundreds of auto and two-wheeler users shifting allegiance, the buses are running full. “Although the maximum priced ticket is Rs 25, on the routes that the buses are running at present, tickets are priced at Rs 10 and 15. So it fits almost everybody’s pocket,” said Goel.
The schedule for these buses can be accessed on the DTC website – dtc.nic.in. As buses are added to the fleet and more drivers hired, the city’s transport system will return to the 20-year-old practice of running buses to a timetable, says DTC CMD Ramesh Negi.