Women may not be exempted from April round of odd-even rule: Gopal Rai
The second phase of odd-even rule, likely in April-May, may do away with exemptions for women while the third, in October, would see two-wheelers also follow the rules, transport minister Gopal Rai said Saturday.delhi Updated: Jan 24, 2016 16:52 IST
The Delhi government plans to bring back the odd-even exercise not once but twice this year. The second phase, likely in April-May, may do away with exemptions for women while the third, in October, would see two-wheelers also follow the rules, transport minister Gopal Rai said Saturday.
For this, the AAP government plans to add 3,000 buses to its public transport fleet by September — 1,000 of which would be sitting-only buses with AC, WiFi, LCD screens and marshals for well-off passengers, who can also book seats in advance. The fare for these premium buses would be on the higher side but, Rai said, still cost less than driving their cars.
When the road-rationing experiment to clean the Capital’s toxic air was on during the first two weeks of January, the Supreme Court had asked
if the Delhi Metro could explore the possibility of having premium coaches for luxury car owners willing to pay five to six times the normal fare.
“We plan to procure the buses in three phases,” Rai said. “The cabinet will clear 1,000 buses under the cluster scheme next week and these will start arriving by April. By July-August, we will have another set of 1,000 buses for the Delhi Transport Corporation. The premium buses will be procured in the third phase.”
Also in the works is a plan to mark out bus lanes. The idea for this came from the DTC’s performance during the odd-even run, when lower traffic volume on roads ensured it completed 95% of its trips compared to 80% on normal days. The government is in the process of identifying choke points where one lane would be reserved for buses.
“For premium buses, we plan to use elevated corridors across the city where one lane would be reserved for them,” Rai said.
In the long term, sources said, the government will construct flyovers at these choke points for other vehicles to ply while buses continue to use the original road. “If there is already a flyover, we will construct an underpass but in the coming year, we are going to create additional space for buses on roads,” said a transport department official.
Rai also spoke of other ideas being considered to encourage Delhiites to switch to public transport, including asking the railways to revive the ring rail and taxing families for a second vehicle.