Thursday, 11 October 2007

Bluelines--Yet Again

The Delhi government finally informed the High Court that it would begin to phase out Blueline buses by November 15. However, the government did not state whether or not it would go about replacing the entire system that has made the buses such a menace with a scheme modelled on that followed in Indore.

There is an urgent need to replace the method used to distribute contracts to the companies that actually operate these buses. There is also a need to lay down guidelines for the selection of such companies and for the selection of bus routes. It appears that there are at least 657 bus routes in Delhi, of which 311 are "uneconomical" whereas 346 are considered more lucrative. These are the routes in Central and South Delhi, whereas almost no buses ply on the Kashmere Gate-Gandhi Nagar or Old Delhi Railway Station-Ramzanpur routes. Operators prefer routes with more passengers or routes that are close to their offices or homes, so that it is easy for them to manage and control routes.

So even though the state government has promised the High Court that it will remove Bluelines from city roads, it has yet to come up with a viable form of public transport that will be reasonably priced and easily available to all Dilliwallahs.

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