Delhi will add 50 new electric buses on Monday with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal flagging off the new vehicles that are expected to strengthen public bus services on Delhi Transport Corporation routes, officials aware of the matter said on Sunday.
Delhi transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said the new buses have already arrived in the city, and will be flagged off on Monday. “It is one more step towards further enhancing electric mobility in the capital which is noise and pollution free, and is an important move towards improving air quality in the city.”
The buses will be run under the gross cost contract in which the state government will pay for operating the buses on per kilometre basis. “These buses will run on gross cost contract basis which means that the Delhi government has not bought them directly, but they will be run on routes designated by the government,” a senior official said.
These buses will have a number of safety features, including GPS, panic button, CCTV cameras, live tracking, and pink seats. which will be reserved for women. The GPS and live tracking facilities will allow the government to track the buses through a control room set up at the transport headquarters where dedicated monitoring of public buses is done by transport officials. They also occasionally interact with drivers and conductors for crowd control and smooth running of the buses.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said CM Arvind Kejriwal will flag off the new 50 e-buses on Monday. “These will take the e-buses fleet to 300. The government has already signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Tata Motors to add 1500 flow floor 12-meter air-conditioned electric buses in capital’s public bus fleet. The delivery of the e-buses is likely to start in a phased manner during 2023. Under the leadership of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi is committed to providing convenient, zero-smoke and 100% electric public transportation,” Gahlot said.
The state government had decided in 2021 that it will procure only electric buses for its fleet. It aims to eventually phase out CNG buses.
Buses are still very popular for public transit in Delhi, with around 3.5 million people using the system every day. Delhi Metro, in comparison, has a daily ridership of 4.5 million people.
The Capital currently has around 7,200 buses under DTC and the cluster scheme. The state government aims to increase the strength of the fleet to 11,000, and to ensure that 70-75% of all public buses in Delhi are electric by 2025-26.