Soon, Metro feeder e-buses with auto ticketing system
After a wait of nearly seven years since the last batch of feeder buses were inducted into the service, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) last week received 25 fully electric feeder buses with an inbuilt automatic fare collection system -- the first in the country.
DMRC plans to induct a total of 100 such low-floor, air-conditioned e-buses out of which the first batch of 25 buses have undergone the necessary fitness tests conducted by the state transport department and are likely to be launched next month. The remaining 75 buses will be inducted gradually in a phased manner within this year, a DMRC spokesperson said. DMRC inducted the last set of feeder buses in 2014-15.
“These buses can also operate without a conductor. They have machines where one will have to just tap the Metro smart card and the fare will be deducted automatically, and a receipt will be generated. Passengers will have to swipe the card twice -- during entry and exit -- to calculate the fare and automatically deduct the fare,” said transport minister Kailash Gahlot.
DMRC currently has 174 CNG feeder buses, operated by private concessionaires, on around 20 routes to provide last-mile connectivity. With the induction of 100 new buses, DMRC will have 274 feeder buses plying on around 30 routes.
DMRC executive director Anuj Dayal said the new buses have a seating capacity of 24. “They will operate on 10 routes covering 14 metro stations... The buses follow all urban bus specifications and are also equipped with GPS, CCTV cameras, panic buttons and so on. There will also be a digital passenger information system,” he said.
However, a senior Metro official, on condition of anonymity, expressed apprehension over the sustainability of the system.
“It remains to be seen if people cooperate, honestly swipe their cards... trials are on,” said the Metro official.