Cluster bus service to roll out in Delhi on May 4

Last Updated: Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 10:07

New Delhi: The much awaited and ambitious
cluster bus service, to be run by corporate entities and
modeled on the public transport system of Paris, will be
launched in the city on Wednesday with an initial fleet of 231
swanky low-floor buses.

"We will launch the service on Wednesday. We hope it
will bring in a significant change in the entire public
transport system," a senior Transport Department official
said.

The service for the first cluster will be run by Star
Bus Pvt Ltd in 32 routes in South Delhi. Three corporate
entities were already given contract to operate the services
in five clusters.

Buses will have an on board passenger information
system similar to that of Delhi Metro which will provide
commuters with various information like upcoming bus stops,
expected time of arrival and traffic flow.

Trained staff will operate the buses which shall come
with global positioning system and temperature reader, while
conductors will issue tickets through Electronic Ticketing
Machine (ETMs).

The fleet will be Euro-IV compliant.

In 2009, the Delhi government had divided nearly 650
bus routes across the city into 17 clusters -- each comprising
profitable and non-profitable routes and decided to give each
cluster to a private operator.

The cluster bus service was envisaged to replace the
`killer` Blueline fleet, which has almost been phased out
from the capital.

With launch of the service, the transport system is
set to improve further. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)
currently operates around 6,500 buses, including 4,000
low-floor buses.

The government had last year announced the ambitious
scheme under which corporate entities were sought to be
involved in this transport system on the pattern of cities
like Paris and London.

Officials said the private entities given contract for
four other clusters will also soon launch their operations and
the total fleet size under the new service is expected to be
around 800 buses by August this year.

Non-AC buses will be painted in orange, while those
with air-conditioning system shall come in purple hue.

The government wanted to do away with competition and
hence, they devised to provide one cluster to one corporate
entity.

As per the plan finalised by Delhi Integrated
Multi-modal Transit System (DIMTS), the transport department
will finalise the bus fares which will go to the government
while the private operator will be paid a fixed amount on the
basis of every kilometre travelled.

PTI




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