Delhi Metro floats new firm to procure AC mini-buses

Officials said the decision, once approved, will provide a boost to the city’s last-mile connectivity, which is among the worst in the country.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | Published: June 10, 2018 2:25:27 am

Delhi Metro, which is in the process of phasing out 117 feeder buses that provide last-mile connectivity to its stations, plans to procure 427 AC mini-buses through its new subsidiary firm — Last Mile Services Limited. Officials said the decision, once approved, will provide a boost to the city’s last-mile connectivity, which is among the worst in the country.

Currently, there are 202 buses in the Metro’s feeder network which connect areas close to particular Metro stations. These buses operate in around 33 routes.

According to a DMRC official, the subsidiary firm will not only serve the Delhi Metro but also extend its services to government and private bodies in meeting their last-mile needs. It can regulate e-rickshaws as well, he added.
Officials said that of the 427 AC buses, 198 will be electric-run while the rest will be CNG.

The new buses will run under the Gross Cost Model of Contract, unlike the current ones that were incorporated under the Net Cost Model of Contract. Under the new contract, DMRC will retain the revenue earned and will pay the operators for their services tendered. The current model authorises the operators to retain the revenue while tackling the risks associated with business.

The Metro had started the feeder services in 2006 through private operators. In 2014, a decision was taken to run the buses on a cluster approach basis. Subsequently, the routes were divided into four zones — east, west, north and south. In May 2010, it procured 117 non-AC mini-buses through two private operators. Subsequently, in 2012, two contracts were signed for procurement of a total of 400 non-AC buses.

During a meeting of the state transport authority on April 13, the DMRC announced that it was phasing out the 117 buses procured in 2010. “The fleet of 117 started to phase out since July 2017 and will completely phase out by July 2018 due to completion of vehicle life,” as per the minutes of the meeting.

The DMRC is also in the process of modifying 14 routes, while also shifting 20 buses from their existing routes.
The document containing the objective of the subsidiary firm says that it will be involved in “planning, identification, development, operation, maintenance and financing of feeder services” on mass transit and urban transport systems of all types, including river transport, in Delhi-NCR.

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