Following the footsteps of Delhi, the transport department has decided to phase out 90 old buses by the end of this year. These private buses have been running in the city for the past seven years and their permit is going to expire on December 31.
The move is aimed at striking a balance with the state government’s plans of introducing modern low-floor buses for intra and inter-city travel needs soon.
“We have asked the city bus operators to get new low-floor buses to replace these old ones. The new buses will be more comfortable for commutes,” said Dhamendra Kumar, secretary, Regional Transport Authority, Gurgaon. However, the authority is facing resistance from private operators who have moved court against this decision.
The operators are worried about arranging finances in such a short span of time for replacing their buses.
“We respect the decision to phase out the old buses, but we do not get enough time to replace them. There are many operators who have only one or two buses with limited earning sources. How they can invest such a huge amount to purchase a new low-floor bus,” said Kamal Kumar, secretary of Gurgaon Transport Association.
The planning for an overhaul of the city bus service has been going on for a long time. As part of measures to improve public transport, Gurgaon Roadways has earlier announced that they will add 600 buses to its fleet of vehicles plying on various routes in the city.
According to the transport department, 400 new buses will be introduced under the PPP (public-private partnership) model. Besides, six ultra-modern bus stops will also be constructed. The new bus stops will have shopping complexes. The transport department is in talks with Huda (Haryana Urban Development Authority) for the same. Dharmendra said the new buses would provide direct connectivity to Faridabad, Manesar and New Delhi from Gurgaon.
“We are also in touch with RWAs and seeking their suggestion for planning bus routes,” he added.