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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Experts say Delhi should go for new, comfortable buses

On Monday, the government showed that the total buses plying in the city — DTC and Cluster buses — had seen a marginal decrease from 5, 692 in 2017-18 to 5, 681 in 2018-19. The report promised to increase the total bus fleet by next year to 8, 681.

delhi Updated: Feb 26, 2019 02:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
The Economic Survey released on Saturday had pointed to a progressive slump in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus fleet — from 4,027 buses in 2017 to 3, 951 in 2018.
The Economic Survey released on Saturday had pointed to a progressive slump in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus fleet — from 4,027 buses in 2017 to 3, 951 in 2018. (File Photo)
         

In its Outcome Budget presented Monday, the government showed a dip in average daily bus ridership from 47 lakh in 2017-18 to 42 lakh in 2018-19.

The Economic Survey released on Saturday had pointed to a progressive slump in the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus fleet — from 4,027 buses in 2017 to 3, 951 in 2018. On Monday, the government showed that the total buses plying in the city—DTC and Cluster buses—had seen a marginal decrease from 5, 692 in 2017-18 to 5, 681 in 2018-19. The report promised to increase the total bus fleet by next year to 8, 681.

Experts said that the only way to counter this discouraging trend of fall in bus ridership is to procure ‘newer and more comfortable’ buses.

Amit Bhatt, director (integrated urban transport), World Resources Institute (India) said, “If two years ago with ‘x’ number of buses you had ‘y’ ridership and now you have reduced the fleet size, the riders will move away. Newer models of buses also need to be looked at to make modes more comfortable.”

The Outcome Budget, however, had some good news on the Delhi Metro. After losing almost 4 lakh passengers daily on average in 2017-’18, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has managed to attract commuters back. From an average daily ridership of 24 lakh in 2017-18, it increased to 25 lakh in 2018-19.

Earlier, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia had attributed the fall in Metro commuters to the hike in fares introduced in 2017. Since then, the network has opened two Metro lines in parts, and has also managed to expand existing lines.

Along with a performance assessment, there were several promises made to strengthen the public transport infrastructure by next year. Around 2,366 more bus depots will constructed in the national capital, a 41% increase from 2015.

Delhi government’s Electric Vehicle Policy, which at present is out for public consultation, is expected to be notified soon, after which comprehensive measure will be taken to promote the sale and use of electric vehicles in the city. The policy promises to focus on electrically powered shared transport. Under the plan, charging infrastructure will also be made available every three kilometres for the convenience of users.

First Published: Feb 26, 2019 02:32 IST