Delhi Metro demands depots, fee waiver for feeder buses
At present, the DMRC charges Rs 5 for 4 km, Rs 10 for travelling between 4km and 10km, and Rs 15 for more than 10km. The fares are decided by the State Transport Authority (STA).delhi Updated: Sep 20, 2017 10:49 IST
With feeder buses becoming increasingly non-profitable, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has urged the city government to give it autonomy in running the service.
In a meeting held last week, the Delhi Metro submitted a proposal to the government seeking concessions from the transport department.
“Exclusivity is required in the operation of feeder services. Exclusivity herein means that other modes of feeder services including buses, e-rickshaws, gramin sewa, etc. will not be allowed to run to and fro identified stations/routes,” the proposal, a copy of which is with Hindustan Times, stated.
◼ Only 30% feeder bus passengers are Metro commuters
◼ Fares have remained same since 2009, making operations non-profitable
◼ No place to park new buses
◼ The government imposes a fee of Rs 2,400 per bus per month for using bus standsWhat DMRC has asked
◼ Space for depot
◼ Capital cost for creating infrastructure in depots
◼ Capital cost for procurement of buses
◼ Fix routes
◼ Fare integration with DMRC’s smart card
◼ Fix bus fares
◼ Advertisement rights
Against the need for at least 1,000 feeder buses, Delhi has 291 such buses as of now and their fares have not been revised since 2009 – a key reason, according to the DMRC, for the service turning out to be a loss making venture. The DMRC has sought rights for deciding fares of these buses and it is also looking at integrating the fare collection system with Metro smart cards.
At present, the DMRC charges Rs 5 for 4 km, Rs 10 for travelling between 4km and 10 km, and Rs 15 for more than 10 km. The fares are decided by the State Transport Authority (STA).
Citing requirements from the Delhi government, the corporation has also asked for land to be developed as depots to park the buses. “Grant capital cost for procurement of buses and flexibility to decide the type of vehicle to be introduced. Capital cost for creating infrastructure at the depot would also be needed,” the proposal stated.
“The average route length of feeder buses is 12.5 kms with the maximum being 23 kms. Some of these routes run parallel to Metro lines or DTC routes. In these circumstances, operation of Metro feeder buses is not serving the basic intent of last mile connectivity for which the contracts were awarded,” the DMRC said.
While the routes are fixed by the STA at present, the Delhi Metro has also asked that it should be allowed to decide routes, which would be operated only between 3-5 kms around Metro stations. “Depending on survey, DMRC will decide number and type of buses to be operated at any given route. It will also decide maintenance of buses,” it said.
Data with Delhi Metro suggests that feeder buses are in demand as around two lakh passengers used the service daily between April 2016 and March, 2017. The buses ran 3,650 trips per day on 43 routes.
However, it continues to face the problem of non-Metro commuters who constitute nearly 70% ridership of these buses.