Delhi govt launches premium bus service to boost public transport

01 Oct 2023

The Delhi government has given the green light to a premium bus service initiative designed to curb the use of private vehicles within the city and mitigate pollution, officials announced. The government published the draft of the Delhi Motor Vehicles Licensing of Aggregator (Premium Buses) Scheme, 2023 on its website in August and actively sought public input. Through this initiative, the city government aims to persuade the middle and upper-middle classes to transition to public transportation. Under the scheme, license holders must ensure that no premium bus in service or acquired can have a registration date exceeding three years from the date of the scheme's notification. Moreover, any new premium bus introduced must adhere to prevailing emission standards, specifically BS-VI compliance, with options limited to either Air-Conditioned CNG or electric buses. Starting from January 1, 2025, only electric buses will be permitted for induction; CNG-operated buses, even if BS-VI compliant will not be allowed under this program.

The scheme also mandates that aggregators must implement measures to guarantee the safety and security of women passengers. This includes the implementation of a rapid response system, complete with a panic button on mobile and web-based applications. These features must be operational at all times and integrate seamlessly with law enforcement agencies to ensure prompt resolution of complaints.

Additionally, the initiative allows for dynamic pricing, but with the stipulation that the base fare should not fall below the peak fare of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) air-conditioned buses.

It's worth noting that in 2020, the Delhi government had set an ambitious goal of registering five lakh new electric vehicles (EVs) within five years and achieving a target of 25% of all newly sold vehicles being electric by 2025.

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