1. Why Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP govt’s move to slash bus fares by 70% is senseless

Why Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP govt’s move to slash bus fares by 70% is senseless

The Arvind Kejriwal government's new year gift to the citizen of Delhi in the form of slashing bus fares had to be postponed due to issues related to L-G office and departments concerned.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: January 13, 2017 12:27 PM
The Arvind Kejriwal government's new year gift to the citizen of Delhi in the form of slashing bus fares had to be postponed due to issues related to L-G office and departments concerned. (IE image) The Arvind Kejriwal government’s new year gift to the citizen of Delhi in the form of slashing bus fares had to be postponed due to issues related to L-G office and departments concerned. (IE image)

The Arvind Kejriwal government’s new year gift to the citizen of Delhi in the form of slashing bus fares had to be postponed due to issues related to L-G office and departments concerned. Now it is evident that people taking public transport in Delhi will have to wait for some more time to travel in DTC and cluster buses on cut-fare tickets. The AAP government had planned to reduce monthly bus pass rates from Rs 800 to Rs 250 for non-AC buses, and from Rs 1,000 to Rs 250 for AC buses – a 70% cut. There will be a flat fare of Rs 5 in non-AC DTC and cluster buses, while it will be Rs 10 in air-conditioned buses for a month on trial basis. At present, a ride in a AC bus can cost anywhere between Rs 10 to 25 while the same in non-AC buses are from Rs 5 to Rs 15. Government has also proposed to make DTC bus travel free for students up to the age of 21 years. Daily bus pass for non-AC buses is currently available for Rs 40 and Rs 50 for AC buses, but government will bring down the rate of both pass services to Rs 20 for one month.

For daily commuters, this may well not be a reason to be happy. A close analysis will reveal quite a different picture. If we go through the details, we will realize that the decision will only be detrimental to the state of city’s beleaguered public road transport. Here are the reasons why, the Aam Admi Party (AAP) governments step is anti-public at its heart:

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1. The decision to reduce fares was originally mooted by former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to encourage people to use public transport in view of city’s alarming pollution. The decision is a self contradictory one as money is not a factor for those who will opt for buses instead of their private vehicles.

2. The decision also leads to another crucial point- populist measures and subsidies do not bode well for infrastructure development. Just look at the declining state of Delhi Metro. When revenue will not be generated, how will an entity be able to sustain itself? This may augur a slow but sure demise for DTC and the resultant transport crisis will trouble commuters no end!

3. Casting reservations about the Delhi government’s plan to slash bus fares by around 70 per cent, new Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has questioned the economic viability of the decision citing finance department’s remark about the debt-ridden DTC suffering further losses if bus fares are slashed. The decision will only put burden on the cash-strapped DTC. This in effect has brought him into a face-off position against the AAP government.

4. As a citizen of the national capital, we need world class and quality public transport. When the reduction of fares will come into effect, it is the quality of service that will take the beating. The common man who takes to the public transport does not want to travel ‘cattle class’. S/he is willing to fork out that much extra to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free journey.

Presently, Delhi Transport Corporation has 4,355 buses while there are 1,600 cluster buses (orange). Hope DTC will induct more buses to bolster its fleet rather blatantly catering to the populist political mindset. In lieu of cheap rates, Delhi wants a humming public transport.

  1. G
    Gill
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:24 am
    Cheaper public transport is the best way to decongest roads. And is subsidised all over the world. Looks like just another anti AAP rant.
    Reply
  2. B
    Balgit
    Jan 13, 2017 at 8:57 am
    A jealous bhakt journalist, hiding behind the name of "FE online". Dear bhakt, if bus fares are reduced, I will be happy. Dont try to manite people.
    Reply
  3. B
    Balgit
    Jan 13, 2017 at 8:57 am
    jealous author, probably a bhakt
    Reply
  4. B
    Balgit
    Jan 13, 2017 at 8:59 am
    the author is misleading, volvo bus rates in bangalore for three people are costlier than an uber or ola. So rates need to come down.
    Reply
  5. S
    SK Iyer
    Jan 14, 2017 at 3:02 am
    A miscalculated (paid /partisan) move just for the reason that it's a proposal from AAP. If they can save money on various projects, if they could run the ever expanding Jal Board profitability despite the concessions given to the people, they know to run the public transport system too efficiently and effectively.
    Reply
  6. J
    Jas
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:25 am
    Experimentation like this needs to be encouraged. Bashing it on financials when its proposed for a month is uncalled for. Learnings can lead to a better transport system .. may be more buses etc. Public transport needs to grow bigger in share for sure.
    Reply
  7. A
    Ajay Joe
    Jan 14, 2017 at 12:40 am
    Bhai to Delhi wala nahin hai.... Ek tourist hai.... Daily bus liya kabhi office ke liye
    Reply
  8. A
    Ajay Joe
    Jan 14, 2017 at 12:37 am
    This reporter is not a Delhite... Never travelled by a DTC bus on a daily basis............ As a Delhite we look forward to cheaper service so that everybody can board a bus & not be forced to bicycle or walk out long distances to reach their work places
    Reply
  9. L
    lalit
    Mar 15, 2017 at 4:41 pm
    bana rha hai hai kejriwal
    Reply
  10. S
    sammer
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:31 am
    demonetisation should benefit poor and so the slash... good going
    Reply
  11. R
    Ravi Ravi
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:33 am
    Once Hon'ble SC said Delhi need 9000 buses, so we have shortage of 9000-4355 1600 = 6245 buses. Unless you work on adding these many buses all such efforts to urge people to use public transport would fail. Somewhere it was mentioned that this slashing of fares would cost the government Rs 50 crores, some 100 buses can be introduced if each bus costs 50 lacs. Not center neither state government is working on this area. Learn from cluster buses, they have better routes where the real demand is, hence DTC too can come in profit or atleast at equilibrium.
    Reply
  12. S
    Shankar
    Jan 13, 2017 at 7:11 am
    The frequency, comfort, increasing number of buses and touching untouched area should be the immediate priority. An ideal state is more than welcome to offer it free to its citizens :) however; at the moment the fare is not something that is restricting people to travel in public transport.
    Reply
  13. K
    Kejrubhakt
    Jan 13, 2017 at 10:47 am
    Joker party. Looting Delhi money.
    Reply
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