Coming soon, an app-based bus service in Delhi

Delhi govt. to seek public feedback on the scheme aimed at reducing personal vehicles on roads

Delhi govt. to seek public feedback on the scheme aimed at reducing personal vehicles on roads

In a move aimed at encouraging commuters to switch from personal vehicles to public transport, the Delhi government is planning to introduce a premium bus service in the National Capital Region.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal chaired a high-level meeting on Wednesday to review the progress made regarding the Delhi Motor Vehicles Licensing of Aggregators (Premium Buses) Scheme.

During the meeting, officials informed Mr. Kejriwal of a detailed blueprint for the drafting and implementation of the policy.

The scheme will be put up for public feedback soon, the government said.

‘more comfortable’

“We aim to encourage all citizens who make intracity trips every day to instead opt for a cleaner, more comfortable and equally efficient mode of public transport in Delhi. App-based aggregators will ply state-of-the-art, next-generation buses equipped with every modern facility to appeal to those who drive their personal cars,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

“All buses will be BS-VI compliant, air-conditioned, CNG or electric, seating only, equipped with app support, CCTVs and panic buttons, in addition to being integrated with the ‘One Delhi app’ for booking rides and making digital payments ,” he said.

Also Read | Book seats on app-based bus services from June 1

According to the government, Mr. Kejriwal was told in the meeting that the scheme aimed to encourage a modal shift in public transport and reduce intra-city trips by promoting efficient premium bus services, which will also seek to reduce air pollution in Delhi.

“The Delhi government will collaborate with aggregators to operate premium buses in the Capital. All buses inducted under this scheme after January 1, 2024, shall be only electric. The tickets of these buses will be made available through mobile and web-based applications,” the Chief Minister said.

All buses plying under the scheme will follow a uniform color scheme with the GNCTD logo along with the aggregator’s logo.

Route rationalization

In a related development, Mr. Kejriwal also assessed a Route Rationalization project, which seeks to make Delhi’s bus network more robust and efficient as well as extending it to every single corner of the city.

Under the road map for the scheme, buses will be available all over Delhi within a waiting time of five to 10 minutes and available even in remote areas where the bus service is not available at present.

Feeder buses will be provided for last-mile connectivity from metro stations in addition to improving connectivity.

According to the suggested ideas, the 13 busiest transportation hubs in and around Delhi, including railway stations, Connaught Place and ISBTs will be connected to the Delhi Central Business District by a 5 to 10 minute frequency bus service.

Delhi’s connectivity with the NCR, according to the policy, will be enhanced and passengers in Delhi will be able to access bus service in a 15-minute window within a 500-metre radius; the policy will also aim to increase the city’s bus coverage from 49% to between 90 and 95%.

The exercise will aim at categorizing city bus routes into four groups: a trunk network, which consists of 27 super trunk routes and three Central Business District circulator routes where buses will run every 5 to 10 minutes.

There will also be a primary network with buses running every 10 to 15 minutes, a route consisting of a feeder network where buses will run every 15 to 20 minutes will be the secondary network.

There are currently about 7,200 buses operating on 625 bus routes in Delhi and 799 buses operating on 72 Mini/RTV routes. As part of the exercise, buses will now run every 5 to 10 minutes on 274 of the 625 regular bus routes and the number of standard buses will rise from 7,200 to 8,494 in the near future, the government stated.

BJP, Cong. react

Reacting, the Delhi BJP and the Congress attacked the AAP government for the current state of public transportation in the Capital.

“Before Kejriwal came to power, he took suggestions from people and said about 11,000 buses are required. However, one wonders why nothing has happened regarding this till date,” Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta alleged.

Delhi Congress president Ch. Anil Kumar alleged that the exercise plan was a “ploy to hand over profitable routes to private operators” and eventually hand over the public transport operations to private firms.

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