A proposal, currently under the Delhi government’s consideration, to augment bus services in 74 routes will hit Metro ridership and cause “under-utilisation” of existing public transport facilities, the DMRC has written to the city’s Transport Department.
It also urged the government to modify the proposal so that the routes “do not run parallel” to the Metro network. After Metro had raised its fares in 2017, the network had lost a chunk of commuters to DTC and cluster buses, according to official records.
The ridership in DTC buses rose from 27 lakh passengers daily to around 32 lakh within a year, even as the Metro’s ridership reduced to a daily average of 24 lakh. In the subsequent months, launch of newer corridors helped DMRC recover some ground.
The DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) made the observations while responding to the government’s route-rationalisation proposal, which was undertaken by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) at a cost of around Rs 2.97 crore.
The DIMTS submitted its final draft report in February this year. The government has so far implemented only a pilot rationalisation scheme in the Najafgarh area, with the Transport Department yet to finalise the complete suggestions.
“It has been observed that there are 74 routes which are either parallel to Metro network or existing Metro feeder routes. Operation of such parallel services will not only hamper the ridership of Metro network but it would render under-utilisation of public transport as well as government resources. Therefore, it is requested that such routes which are parallel to the Metro network may be modified in such a manner that they are not operated parallel to the Metro network,” the DMRC wrote.
Metro has further proposed that in cases where the routes of Metro feeder buses and routes proposed by the DIMTS overlap at any stretch measuring over 3 kilometres, schedules for both should be in sync in such a way to avoid bunching of the services.
“Therefore, it will be appropriate if a timetable of such routes is prepared by taking into account all the buses of the Metro feeder services and number of buses proposed by DIMTS on such routes, so that the buses are available to the commuters at desired frequency,” it wrote.
The route rationalisation plan essentially seeks to make optimum use of available public buses in the city through realignment and merger of routes, so as to achieve the ambitious goal of ensuring availability of buses within 500 metres of every neighbourhood in the city at a frequency of not more than 15 minutes.