Thursday, June 4, 2009

DTC to start airport link bus service

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Thursday announced the start of a high quality bus service from various areas of the capital to the airport to tackle the growing congestion in the area.

DTC has signed an MoU with Urban Mass Transport Company (UMTC), which will manage and operate the service.

UMTC managing director O.P. Agarwal said the plan was to operate mini buses, which normally accommodate 14-16 passengers, and modify them to seat only 8-10 passengers, so that wider and more comfortable seats as well as space for luggage is available.

"The buses would be air conditioned, with pleasing interiors and a distinctive look. They would be operated at a frequency of three per hour, every 20 minutes, to ensure reliability in service," he added.

UMTC has already identified 17 locations from Delhi and NCR area from where these buses would ply. These are ITO, Rohini, ISBT Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar terminal, Mayur Vihar-Nizamuddin railway station, Vikaspuri-Janakpuri, Dwarka, Naraina-Delhi Cantonment, Vasant Kunj, Sarita Vihar-Sainik Farms, Greater Kailash, IHC-Lodhi Road-Bhikaji Cama Place, Chanakyapuri, Ghaziabad, Noida, Faridabad, and Udyog Vihar in Gurgaon.

Agrawal said pilot services - from ISBT Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar Terminal - would start in 6-8 months and then based on the experience, it would be rolled from the other areas.

"It would also meet the requirements of the 2010 Commonwealth Games," he added.

Asked what prompted them to start the service, a senior DTC official said: "Due to the rapidly growing airline passenger traffic, there is severe congestion in and around the airport. Since airline traffic is projected to continue growing, the situation would only get worse."

"To tackle that, we decided to operate high-quality bus services from multiple points in the city to the airport. It would enable airline passengers and airport employees to use convenient public transport to reach the airport," the official said, adding the fares would be "competitive" - more than normal buses and less than taxis.

UMTC has also decided to provide passengers with a number of value-added features such as on-board camera for greater safety of passengers, baggage handling facilities, check-in assistance at the airport, 'meet and greet' services for arriving passengers, web based ticket purchase facility, power socket for laptop use and mobile charging and monthly discounted pass.

"Once the services start, we will also explore the possibility of taxi linkage for last mile connectivity," Agarwal added.

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