‘Delhi needs over 5,000 more buses to serve better’

Delhi urgently needs more than 5,000 buses to improve its public transport situation, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said on Tuesday.

‘Delhi has a little over 5,000 buses and it needs at least 11,000 buses immediately,’ Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, CSE, said.

According to Roychowdhury, the Supreme Court had in 1998 given an order that the city needed 10,000 buses but the Delhi government failed to achieve the number even after 14 years.

The reasons, she said, included lack of parking space for private buses that would operate under the cluster schemes and financial losses.

‘As a result, sales of private buses is not much. But private companies as well as the government will have to chip in. DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses alone cannot solve the problem,’ she said.

Further, the high price of buses combined with low income meant losses for private players, she said.

The government is spending Rs.600 crore annually to help private bus operators, she said, adding that more buses covering more routes and increase in frequency would tackle the situation.

‘In addition, the tax burden on buses has to be reduced and bus operators should look at other options like advertising for revenue,’ said Roychowdhury.

She said CSE was in talks with the Delhi government and hopefully, new buses would be seen on Delhi roads soon.

‘DTC is already showing improvement courtesy the new efficient buses. Its ridership has gone up by 25 per cent and so has the earning from Rs.279 crore in 2006 to Rs.794 crore in 2010,’ she said.
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