PPP to make Delhi bus rides smoother?

City bus services will now be managed by private players on a commission basis


Shivani Chaturvedi | August 10, 2010

The Delhi transport department is looking at private involvement in managing bus services in Delhi. Under the bus cluster scheme, the government has roped in private entities to manage 60 percent of the services in the city.

Under the scheme, the city's 657 bus-routes have been grouped into 17 'clusters'. While both - the government and the private partners - will be managing services on all routes, the latter will be managing 60 percent of the buses on each route as suggested by the finance department. However, transport officials say that a worksharing ratio is yet to be finalised. The private partners will be working on commission-per-kilometre-run basis with the ticket charges remain the same in both the DTC-run and the privately-run buses.

The first cluster - the winning bid for which was made by Start Bus Services Private Limited - will have 231 buses on 32 routes in South Delhi. The buses under cluster 1 will be in operation from October 12 , a senior transport department officer said. The bidding for clusters 2, 3, 4 and 5 has also been completed but contracts are yet to be awarded.

The authorities hope that this will bring down the reckless competition between private players as only a particular operator will be allowed to manage the services on a specific route.

All the data and information will be monitored through the global positioning system (GPS). Public complaints will be dealt with more systematically.

Under the cluster scheme it will be easier to keep a watch on the operations as the revenue earned by the private entities will also go to the government .

The move is expected to engage bus-operators who stand to lose due to the proposed phasing-out of private buses. But with scheme asking existing private operators to organise as unions and bid for clusters, the operators of the rogue Blueline buses might find it is easy to worm their way into the new system. Politically influential, these operators could use the clause as an opportunity to drive their own agenda.



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