In an attempt to speed up the phasing out of Blueline buses and to replace the fleet with the cluster bus service,the Sunehri Nallah Depot on Lodhi Road was inaugurated and 14 buses flagged off from here on Wednesday.
The depot having a capacity of 220 buses will also function as a multi-disciplinary facility for regular maintenance and technical inspection of buses in addition to other administrative activities,transport officials said.
Buses on clusters 3,4 and 5 will operate from this depot and A B Grains Spirits Pvt Ltd will be operating buses on the three clusters.
The 14 semi-low floor buses that were flagged off will ply on route number 410. In addition to these, 35 more buses operating on different routes will be rolled out from the depot within two to three days after their registration process is complete,said transport officials. The introduction of 14 buses has increased the fleet size of cluster buses to 261.
Transport Minister Arvinder Lovely flagged off the buses at a function at the depot. I am confident that we will be able to achieve our target of rolling out 1,000 buses by the end of year,three months before our targeted date, Lovely said.
He further said,Our ridership has doubled and the revenue that was generated by Blueline buses Rs 90 lakh per day has gone up to Rs 3.5 crore after the introduction of cluster bus service.
He said the phasing out of Blueline buses will be completed by month-end.
In 2009,around 650 bus routes across the Capital were divided into 17 clusters,each comprising profitable and non-profitable routes,and each cluster was assigned to a private operator.
On being asked about the progress of the remaining cluster services,Lovely said,There is talk of starting work on the next four cluster services which will have around 1,200 buses. The Cabinet will take a decision on this matter in a couple of weeks.
Buses on route 410 will operate between South,East and West Delhi areas starting from Jal Vihar Terminal going via Lajpat Nagar,Ashram,Golf Club,National Stadium,Krishi Bhavan,Kendriya Terminal,RML Hospital,Rajendra Nagar,Moti Nagar,Rajouri Garden and terminating at Khyala Resettlement Colony.
The length of this route is around 240 km and the private operator will be paid Rs 39 per km by the Delhi government, a spokesperson from Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS) said. He said nine DTC buses will ply on this route in addition to the 14 cluster buses. All the buses will be controlled by DIMTS from the Operation Control Centre at ISBT,Kashmere Gate.
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