Delhi set to get new blue AC city busesUpdated: Dec 26, 2019, 00:09 IST
Come January, Delhi will get new blue-coloured air-conditioned (AC) buses for public transport under the cluster model. This expansion in the city’s fleet of AC buses is happening after almost a decade with the last batch being inducted during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
A total of 400 new low-floor AC buses will be added over the next few months out of which 10 will be pressed to service in the first half of January. The new buses are differently abled-friendly and will have CCTV cameras, panic buttons and GPS tracking systems, a transport official said.
Officials in the Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS) Limited, which operates buses under the cluster model, said these 400 AC buses have “many firsts” for the national Capital.
For the first time, the state-run buses in the city will have a new colour code. “Like the Delhi Metro has colour-coded lines/corridors, our DTC and cluster buses were identified with green, orange and cherry red colours. From 2020, we will have a fourth colour – blue,” said a senior DIMTS official who is in charge of the government’s bus induction project under the cluster scheme.
At present, all low-floor buses in Delhi are coloured green, while standard floor buses are orange. All operational AC low-floor buses are cherry red.
“Another first is from the bus manufacturer’s point. So far, all state-run buses in the city are either built by Ashok Leyland or Tata Marcopolo. With the new batch of AC buses, a third manufacturer will enter Delhi’s state-run bus market. These 400 buses are being made by JBM, an India-based auto company,” said another DIMTS official.
Thirdly, it is the first time that AC and low-floor buses are being inducted under the cluster scheme. All the existing cluster buses are standard floor (ground clearance higher than 190 mm) and are not air conditioned. So far, Delhi has over 1,200 AC buses plying on city roads, all of which are run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
Currently, 5,930 buses, including 3,762 DTC and 2,204 cluster buses, are plying across the city. However, there is a need of around 11,000 buses to deal with the growing passenger traffic. The 400 AC buses are part of the Delhi government’s bus augmentation project which aims to add 4,000 new buses in the city in the next two years. Out of this, 3,000 buses are likely to be pressed to service in phases by end of 2020.
“Out of the 400 blue AC buses, 10 are ready. But, they cannot be put on the roads as they await safety clearance. The safety certificate becomes even more important in this case as the manufacturer is a new entrant in the Delhi market. The clearance is taking time as most experts in the committee we have set up are on their year-end official breaks,” said the DIMTS official.