Commuters travelling from Ghaziabad and Noida on short routes, i.e. to nearby cities and NCR, can travel by Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation’s (UPSRTC) air-conditioned buses soon. Until now, AC bus services were only available on longer routes.
Under the new scheme, UPSRTC will hire private non-AC and AC buses to be run on selected short routes. UPSRTC has floated tenders for hiring the buses and the process will be closed by June 30.
The companies will be roped in by the first week of July and the bus service will be started by the first week of September, officials said.
The fares for travel by the non-AC buses will remain the same as the services which are already run by the corporation. However, the fare for the AC buses will be 50% higher than the non-AC bus services, officials said.
For the Ghaziabad region, a total of 32 private buses -- 16 AC and 16 non-AC buses -- will be hired. These will ply from the Kaushambi bus depot to cities such as Bulandshahr, Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, among others.
For the Noida region, a total of 40 buses -- 25 AC and 25 non-AC buses will be hired. These will ply from the Sector 35 bus depot to Hapur and Meerut, among other locations.
Officials said that they will also hire a fleet of 10 buses that will move between Greater Noida and Ghaziabad. The AC buses will have 2X2 recliner seats for passengers’ comfort, officials said.
“The scheme will benefit passengers who have to travel for two hours daily, bearing the sweltering heat in the ordinary corporation buses. There are a large number of people who stay at Meerut and Bulandshahr and work in Ghaziabad,” PK Bose, UPSRTC’s regional manager, Ghaziabad, said.
He said that the move will also help reduce pollution.
“Many people prefer to make the two-three hour journey in their own AC car since there was no AC bus service available. However, they will be able to travel comfortably in the AC buses with recliner seats once the service is launched,” Bose said.
He said that another agenda of introducing the AC bus scheme is to increase the number of buses on the shorter routes run by the corporation.