Delhi CM Kejriwal inducts 100 low-floor AC buses to take fleet size to 6,900
In a big push to Delhi’s transport infrastructure and to further enhance public mobility, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday flagged off 100 low-floor AC CNG buses, taking the public transport bus fleet size to 6,900. Prior to this, Delhi saw 6,000 buses in the fleet of Delhi transport department during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
The new AC CNG buses will run from Ghumanhera depot in outer Delhi to cater to Delhi’s rural areas, on nine cluster bus routes in Delhi. Along with this, the Delhi Government is likely to bring in more CNG and electric buses in the coming days to further strengthen thee public transport system.
Flagging off the buses from Rajghat cluster bus depot, Kejriwal said the buses were put to use from Friday. “A new bus depot has been developed in Ghumanhera. The buses will be stationed there and serve rural routes majorly. Overall, there are about 6,900 buses running on the roads of Delhi today. This is the highest number ever achieved by the state transport department. Prior to this, there used to be around 6,000 buses during the 2010 Commonwealth Games,” Kejriwal said.
The new buses are Bharat Stage VI emission standard compliant, have foldable ramp for the differently abled, provide step-less boarding and alighting for passengers, CCTV cameras and panic buttons with hooters for women safety, live video streaming in case of an emergency, two way communication with the control room, GPS units for live tracking of buses, fully automatic transmission with rear engine, fire detection and suppression system and other features.
The chief minister announced that Delhi will witness the infusion of buses at a larger scale very soon. “Electric buses are about to arrive, CNG buses are in the process, and DTC is getting its own fleet too. The whole process of procuring buses takes two to three years due to the several legalities involved. There was a dearth of buses when we came to power and we initiated the process of procuring buses right back then itself. Ever since then we’ve been seeing buses being rolled out from time to time to strengthen the public transport system. The Delhi government is committed towards taking the bus transport system of Delhi to the highest standards and will provide the best frequency on every single route,” Kejriwal said.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said Delhi’s buses now stand out as an example of safe, accessible and convenient transport system in the country. “A robust, efficient and well connected public transport system is our lifeline and we have huge plans to augment Delhi’s transport this year, be it bus, metro or depot infrastructure. We are also making a huge transition to electric -- the first electric bus is already in Delhi and ready to start operations. We are in the process of expanding our para-transit systems to ensure safe last-mile connectivity to every Delhi resident at any time of the day,” Gahlot said.
Transport experts underlined the need to add more buses to strengthen the public transport infrastructure. “Public transport is critical for the sustainable development of the city. This is even more important with the ongoing Covid-19 crisis because cities operate public transport at low occupancy levels. Therefore, cities need to add more buses to maintain the level of service. This is where Delhi has shown leadership by adding more buses-- it has reinforced the importance of public transport in our cities,” said Amit Bhat, executive director (transport), WRI India.