GMCBL launches 5 new routes, adds 25 buses to its fleet
On the occasion of Republic Day, the Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) launched five new routes and added 25 new vehicles to its existing fleet.
Three of these routes will increase the connectivity between the busy transit hubs in the heart of the city, while two will bring mass transit options to far-off locations for the first time. With the inauguration of these new routes, the Gurugaman bus service now operates a total of 18 routes across the city, with a fleet of 150 buses.
Of the newly launched bus routes, three of them, namely Route 111E, Route 116E and Route 122, will help increase the connectivity between established transport hubs.
Route 111E, for example, will connect Vatika Chowk to the Sector 55-56 Rapid Metro station, and will pass through key locations such as Nirvana Country, Sector 57 Chowk and Rajesh Pilot Gurjar Chowk. “It will create a more streamlined route between Sohna Road and the newer parts of the city and will provide an alternative to existing Route 116B and Route 111B,” said Arun Sharma, general manager, GMCBL.
Route 116E, meanwhile, will connect Gurugram Railway Station to Huda City Centre, which is also being serviced by the GMCBL’s inaugural route 212.
“However, a dedicated route between these two important transport hubs has been in demand, as per the feedback we have received from commuters,” said Sharma. Route 116E will make important stops at South City-1, Sector 14, Sector 15, Jacobpura, Bhim Nagar Chowk and Laxman Vihar.
Route 122, which will connect Sikandepur Metro station to the Gurugram bus stand, will bisect the National Highway-48 at IFFCO Chowk and is the shortest of the three routes launched on Sunday. Important stops along this route include MG Road Metro station, IFFCO Chowk, Canal Colony, Vyapar Sadan in Sector 14 and Mahaveer Chowk, where the route terminates. This stretch, presently, is partially serviced by route.
Meanwhile, the GMCBL has also extended its reach beyond the city’s interiors by introducing two new routes, which will connect areas where there is little to no public mass transit options. These are Route 135, which will connect Cyber City to Sector 90 via MG Road, Hero Honda Chowk, Narsinghpur, Kherki Daula toll plaza, Rampura, and Sector 86.
The second, and longest of the five new routes, is Route 242, which will be a mudrika or circular route similar to the Basai to Huda City Centre network This route will run in a loop between Gurugram bus stand and Farukhnagar, which is a previously unserviced area. Harsaru village, Farukhnagar, Kaliawas, Dhankot, Basai Chowk and Baldev Nagar are some of the major stops along Route 242.
The new routes are expected to give a significant boost to the service’s current ridership numbers, as has been demonstrated in the past.
In 2019, with the addition of four new routes, Gurugaman’s passenger count quadrupled— first between March and June 2019, and then between June and September 2019. From a cumulative ridership of 26,23,746 passengers in March, the number rose to 51,902,945 in June, climbing further to touch 1,01,36,512 on September 28. In the month of December 2019, the city bus service had ferried close to 21 lakh passengers, up from 5 lakh passengers in January 2019.
Despite this growth, the GMCBL is still behind on its declared objectives, which were to launch 200 CNG-operated, low-floor buses by March 2019, with the addition of another 300 in the following year.
Officials had also committed to launching 25 routes by March 2020, but only 18 routes have been launched so far. Plans to acquire 100 electric buses under the Centre’s FAME subsidy, announced in June last year, have also not materialised yet.