Electric, midi, mini: Delhi may get 4,200 new buses by 2018 in public transport push

A committee set up by the AAP government also recommended exploring the possibility of introducing about 25 mini buses without conductors, under a pilot project.

delhi Updated: Jun 10, 2017 18:01 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi transport,Delhi bus,electric bus
The city could get 4,200 buses in different sizes by 2018 if recommendations of the ‘expert committee for rationalising bus services in Delhi’ are implemented.(HT File Photo)

The city could get 4,200 buses in different sizes by 2018 if recommendations of a committee set up by the Aam Aadmi Party government are implemented.

In its report submitted to the government, the ‘expert committee for rationalising bus services in Delhi’ has suggested induction of 1,000 midi buses that would be used mainly on primary and secondary routes. While the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS) has been advised to buy 2,500 standard floor buses, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has been asked to get 600 standard size buses which have a capacity of around 61 passengers.

“Procurement of about 2,000 standard non-AC buses and 500 AC standard buses may be undertaken under the existing cluster scheme. DIMTS may also be asked to procure 1,000 midi buses under the cluster scheme of which 665 may be non-AC midi buses and 335 may be AC midi buses,” read the report of the committee that was headed by Gajendra Haldea, member of Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi.

Giving Delhi new wheels
A government-appointed committee has suggested extra buses in Delhi to boost the Capital’s public transport
  • Run 25 mini buses (24 passengers) on a pilot basis
  • These buses should be conductor-less
  • Should have automated fare collection system
  • The service should be operated by the private sector
  • Frequency to be increased or decreased as per the passenger load
  • When load factor (passengers) on a route exceeds 60%, bus frequency to be increased by up to 2 minutes
  • When load factor falls below 45%, the frequency be reduced

Bus routes in Delhi are divided into super trunk, trunk and primary/secondary. The report states that super trunk routes must have buses running at a frequency of two minutes during peak hours, while on trunk routes it should be five minutes. On primary and secondary routes, the frequency could vary from 10 to 20 minutes, it said.

The committee also recommended procurement of 100 electric buses on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model. Besides, it also asked the government to explore the possibility of introducing about 25 mini buses without conductors under a pilot project.

“Opening up this segment to competitive market forces has the potential for rapid expansion, somewhat similar to app-based cab services in several cities across the world, including Delhi. Introduction of mini buses may offer the most viable alternative for car users to shift to public transport, which in turn would provide maximum relief in terms of reduction in traffic congestion and pollution,” the report reasoned.

Set up in February this year by former transport minister Satyendar Jain, the four-member committee included Shreya Gadepalli, South Asia director, Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), Dr Sewa Ram, professor at School of Planning and Architecture and AK Singhal, adviser to the minister of Health and Transport.

With a new transport minister, Kailash Gahlot, in place it is to be seen whether midi-mini buses are inducted. “We gave the report a few weeks ago. The new minister will decide what is to be done with it,” said Haldea.

Sources said, at present the government is preparing a proposal for procuring 1,000 standard floor buses. “Since there is an urgent need to induct buses, it is likely that the committee’s recommendations will be taken into account in the next phase after the 1,000 buses are cleared,” said an official.

It also suggested adoption of a normative load factor (per bus ridership) comprising a band of 45% to 60% in order to measure, justify and calibrate the frequency and capacity of buses. “Whenever the load factor on any route exceeds 60%, the frequency of bus services should be suitably increased but not exceeding two minutes during peak hours so as to maintain a load factor not exceeding 60%,” the suggestions said.

“Similarly, where load factor falls below 45%, the frequency should be reduced suitably, but not below 20 minutes during peak hours. If the load factor still continues to be less than 45% then standard buses should be replaced by midi buses so that the load factor/capacity utilization improves to 455 or above.”

First Published: Jun 10, 2017 16:38 IST