The Delhi government has sought public feedback on its draft scheme which aims to reduce intra-city trips of private vehicles by making available premium air-conditioned bus service to people and reduce pollution.
The government has sought suggestions by September 8 on the draft Delhi Motor Vehicle Licensing of Aggregators (Premium Buses) Scheme.
According to the draft, the aggregators will have to pay a one-time licence fee of Rs one lakh but for electric buses, the licence fee shall be exempted to promote clean transport options.
The licence shall be valid for a period of five years, it said. Under the scheme, each aggregator shall maintain a fleet of minimum 50 premium buses and will be permitted to have dynamic pricing, “above the threshold of peak fare of DTC AC buses”.
The aggregator will have to seek passengers only through web or mobile-based applications, and no physical tickets will be issued.
The draft scheme says prior to the commencement of a trip, the aggregator shall post the details of the vehicles, the driver and the staff and a ‘passenger manifest’ for the journey. Further booking and additions to the passenger list will be allowed only if done 10 minutes prior to the boarding time, it says.
The passenger manifest will only have the last name, gender and age of the passenger and not their first name.
The aggregator will also have to provide a mechanism to lodge complaints on their app and also display the grievance redressal mechanism inside the bus prominently, the draft said.
The app will also have a panic button on its app for women passengers. The scheme also states that no trip shall be cancelled after accepting the hire charges from a passenger, “save and except upon occurrence of a force majeure” whereupon they will either have to provide an alternative vehicle or refund the fare charges, it said.
The scheme mandates that the CNG buses operated by aggregators must not be older than three years.
According to the draft, all the buses will be BS-VI compliant air conditioned, CNG or electric buses.
All buses inducted under this scheme after January 1, 2024, shall be electric only, it said.
The aggregator will have to provide proof of adequate overnight parking space for all buses since they will not be allowed to park vehicles in public spaces.
The buses inducted under the scheme will have to follow a uniform colour code decided by the Delhi government and will carry the logo of the government as well as the aggregator to reflect the partnership between the two, it said.
The aggregator will also have the freedom to sell the advertising space inside the deployed buses to earn additional revenue, after obtaining the approval and sharing the revenue with Municipal Corporation of Delhi according to the existing laws, it said.
They will also be allowed to advertise about the premium bus scheme inside the bus without paying any royalties to the Transport department or the MCD, said the draft scheme.
Laying down the eligibility criterion for the aggregators, it said the applicants must own a minimum fleet of 200 passenger buses or 2,000 passenger cars.
“In case of a mixed fleet of passenger cars and buses, the total minimum fleet must be equal to at least 200 buses. For this purpose, 10 cars would be deemed to be equal to one bus,” read the draft.