Coming soon in Delhi: Open-roof electric buses for city tours
These electric buses are likely to replace the fleet of HoHo (Hop On Hop Off) buses currently plying on Delhi roads. Launched during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, HoHo buses have received only luke warm response from touristsdelhi Updated: Sep 21, 2017 13:48 IST
Sightseeing in Delhi is set to get more interesting with the city government planning to introduce open-roof electric buses for tourists in a few months from now.
The service will be available throughout the year but the number of trips are likely to be increased during the peak season from September to April. The buses will ply on the same routes as that of the Delhi government’s air-conditioned Hop On, Hop Off (HOHO) buses. According to the city tourism department, these buses will have a taller deck allowing it to have an open-air sitting area on top and covered air-conditioned seats below it.
The GPS-enabled buses will have WiFi and a seating capacity for at least 30 passengers. The buses will be operated as per the usual schedule with an interval of 40 minutes.
“We are in talks with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for this project in which the open-roof buses would run on electricity. It will be executed in a PPP (public-private partnership) model,” said Varsha Joshi, secretary (tourism).
The NTPC has proposed to install electric-vehicle charging points across the city. The buses will be equipped with AV (audio-visual) commentary system and will also have professional guides for explaining the historical significance of different sites.
“The issue of security has been raised as the buses would be open from above. So, we are also going to depute a security official in each bus,” another official said.
The open-roof buses are likely to hit the road early next year.
HoHo buses to go?
The electric buses are likely to replace the fleet of HoHo buses currently plying on city roads. Sources said that the contract of HoHo buses will expire in a few months.
Launched during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, the HoHo bus service has crumbled over the years. The service that started with 14 buses has reduced to five. The number of tourists too has come down from around 80 to 60 a day.
The move comes days after deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia took over the tourism portfolio. As soon as assuming control of the department, he had asked tourism officials to suggest innovative ways to promote Delhi as a tourist hub.