DTC buses lost 17 lakh commuters in last four years; environment body says fleet may get defunct by 2025

New Delhi: Warning that the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) may not have any working buses left in 2025 if no new vehicles are added to its fleet, a CSE report said that the state transportation agency has lost about 17 lakh daily passengers in the last four years.

The report by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) also pointed out that the current daily ridership of DTC is over-estimated due to flawed calculation, as officially it is assumed that each pass holder makes nine trips in buses daily.

With DTC, at present, operating 3,800 buses and around 1,600 good-performing buses running under the Cluster Scheme, the report pointed out that there is a shortage of 5,000-10,000 buses.

The city government has not added a single new bus in five years.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

"DTC, in particular, has lost daily passengers from 47 lakh per day in 2012-13 to 30 lakh per day in 2016, about 17 lakh daily passenger loss...If no new buses are added now, the entire fleet will get nearly phased out by 2025 due to ageing and phase out," the report said.

One of the major causes of the drop in ridership, according to the report, is low frequency.

"Less than 1 percent of DTC routes have a frequency of one bus every five minutes during peak hours. Less than 25 percent DTC routes have the frequency of one bus every 15 minutes. Rest of the routes have much longer waiting time."

It said that almost 700 buses on any given day are not used, largely due to breakdowns, equivalent to halting the entire fleet size of cities such as Jaipur.

"This is unacceptable, especially at a time when travel demand and pollution problems are exploding in the city. If this is not acknowledged and resolved immediately it will increase dependence on personal vehicles and make the problem of pollution and congestion irreversible," said Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director-Research, CSE.

The report stated that if Delhi has to meet the Master Plan target of 80 percent share of public transport ridership by 2020, the bus system will have to be reinvented.

"A bus occupies only twice the road space taken by a car but can carry 40 times more passengers. Buses can be flexibly deployed across the city, even in areas with lower travel demand," said the report.

In November, an RTI query revealed that Delhi Metro ridership has dropped by about three lakh passengers.

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Updated Date: Dec 12, 2017 20:51:29 IST

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