Despite adding more buses to its city service, the Chandigarh administration is struggling to bring down the waiting period for boarding the vehicles. The Chandigarh Transport Undertaking has recently inducted around 50 more buses, which have been pressed into service on different routes. The CTU buses ply on 74 routes, out of which 69 operate during the day, while five are operational during the night hours. The CTU bus service connects Chandigarh with Panchkula and Mohali, carrying around 2 lakh passengers on a daily basis. Depending upon the route, the waiting period for boarding a CTU bus varies from 20 minutes to over one-and-a-half hour.
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For the 28-km route from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Research and Education (PGIMER ) to Mohali Phase XI, commuters have to wait for one-and-a-half hour. The waiting period on the 22-km route between Ramdarbar and Dhanas, on which two buses have been pressed into service, is one hour and 15 minutes.
Similarly, for boarding a bus from Dhanas to Airport (22km), one has to wait for one hour and 15 minutes. The waiting period on the 20-km route from Inter-State Bus Terminal in Sector 43 to the airport is more than an hour. During the night hours, the waiting period on routes from PGIMER to IT Park and ISBT-43 to IT Park is one hour and 10 minutes. The waiting period for travelling from ISBT-43 to ISBT-17 (12km) is 45 minutes.
Amit Talwar, director UT transport, said the waiting period of buses need to be brought down to make the city bus service more attractive. “For making our bus service effective, we need to bring down the waiting period to five minutes. For that, we need 150 more buses,” said Talwar.
At present, the CTU uses around 400 buses for the city bus service. The fleet comprises standard size buses, semi-low floor non-AC buses, AC buses, low-floor AC buses, low-floor non-AC buses and mini-AC buses.
“Long waiting period is one main reason for not many people opting for public transportation. We are working on resolving the issue. We are purchasing more buses that will enable us to increase the frequency on important routes during peak hours,” said Talwar.
Traffic congestion has emerged as the biggest problem in the city owing to the increasing number of private vehicles coupled with lack of adequate public transport facility.
The Chandigarh administration has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with French agency — Agence Francaise Development (AFD) – for improving the inter-city transport.
On May 25, Chandigarh had made it to the list of smart cities along with 12 others in the second phase of fast-track competition.