The Noida and Greater Noida authorities and the Noida Metro rail corporation (NMRC) on Tuesday signed a tripartite agreement to make way for the city bus service’s operations to start from next month.
Sanjay Aggarwal, chairman of the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna expressway authorities, Santosh Yadav, managing director of NMRC, Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Noida authority and Deepak Agarwal, CEO of the Greater Noida authority were among the officials present at the signing of the agreement in Noida authority’s Sector 6 office.
“We are ready to begin city bus service operations for Noida and Greater Noida on six routes from the beginning of October. We have procured 50 hi-tech air-conditioned CNG buses and are laying flag poles at all bus shelters on the six routes before starting the facility. With these poles, passengers will be informed about real-time location of each bus,” said Santosh Yadav, managing director, NMRC.
The two authorities had hired a Delhi government agency called Urban mass transit company (UMTC) in 2013 to conduct a survey on traffic on the route and requirement of passengers, including office-goers, and submit a detailed plan.
“We had decided to start the city bus service on the basis of the UMTC report. The comprehensive plan is to run 392 buses on 27 routes in a phased manner. We will keep adding buses and routes slowly,” said Yadav.
Sanjay Aggarwal said the buses will have adequate features for women’s safety.
“Each bus will be equipped with CCTVs, panic buttons and user-friendly options. We will control/monitor buses from the Sector 90 depot through electronic surveillance. If any woman passenger or other commuter is in trouble, teams will rush for help,” said Yadav.
The Uttar Pradesh state roadways transport corporation (UPSRTC) team will assist NMRC in running the facility.
The Noida authority will contribute Rs. 35 crore and the Greater Noida authority Rs. 5 crore for the facility. “If the Yamuna Expressway areas are to be included the Yamuna expressway authority can join in the future,” said Yadav.
“To offer comfort to passengers who are upwardly mobile and do not want to any hassle, buses will follow the private taxi model of operations. We will launch smart mobile applications through which a passenger can track the location of the bus and plan the journey. With a common card for Metro and the city buses, passengers will not face any problem,” he added.
Officials said buses will be comfortable enough for Metro riders to give up private vehicles for inter-city travel.
“We want to discourage the use of private vehicles that lead to traffic congestion. At a later stage, we will begin a facility for last-mile connectivity so that a commuter travels through public transport comfortably,” said Pramod Kumar Aggarwal.