New Delhi: To bring the cash-strapped public bus transport system in Delhi back on track, a new slab of maximum fare of Rs 20 for non-AC buses should be introduced, a Route Rationalisation Study conducted by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) has suggested. The final draft of the study, which has been submitted to the Delhi government, recommends other measures to augment revenue and make bus transport sustainable.
While Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Cluster Scheme buses together ferry 42 lakh passengers per day compared with approximate 32 lakh passengers who use Delhi Metro, bus fares have not been hiked since 2009. The perennially lossmaking DTC is sustaining itself through grants from the Delhi government. DTC’s working losses in 2018-19 were Rs 1,750.3 crore, up from Rs 1,730 crore in 2017-18 according to the Delhi’s Economic Survey (2018-19).
DTC’s fare slab for non AC buses is between Rs 5 and 15, and for air-conditioned buses, it is between Rs 10 and 25. While starting fare for bus services is around Rs 5 in most Indian cities, the incremental fare for longer distances is much higher. Perhaps keeping this in mind, the DIMTS report has suggested re-structuring of the fare slab while keeping the existing fares intact by introducing a new slab of Rs 20.