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DTC estimated to lose Rs 300 crore/year if AAP’s free ride scheme for women is implemented

DTC internal survey says it could lose about Rs 2,000 per bus per day, while cluster buses will lose Rs 232 cr per year, or Rs 1,900 per bus per day.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) could lose Rs 2,000 per day for every one of its buses if the Arvind Kejriwal-headed Delhi government’s proposal to make Metro and bus rides free for women.

The total loss in 2019-20, if the scheme is implemented, is estimated to be Rs 300 crore for the DTC, and Rs 232 crore for the orange clustered buses that also ply in the city, a senior official of the DTC told ThePrint.

This would be in addition to the mounting losses of DTC, which posted a working loss of Rs 1,750.37 crore in the budgetary estimates of 2018-19.

The estimates are based on an internal sample survey carried out by the operations team of the DTC. The survey report was submitted by the DTC and the transport department to the Delhi government brass last week, and provided estimates from 2018-19 to 2023-24.

But when ThePrint asked officials how the estimates were arrived at, it emerged that since the DTC doesn’t maintain passenger data, the numbers are based on a ballpark figure of 33 per cent women riders using the bus service. Every DTC bus earns around Rs 6,000 per day, so the loss would be approximately Rs 2,000 per bus per day.

The estimated loss is expected to go up to Rs 548 crore for cluster buses and over Rs 650 crore for the DTC, given the expected rise in the number of buses and the population, the senior DTC official said.

Also read: AAP govt ready for Delhi Metro freebie, but sits on Rs 200-cr proposal for feeder buses

State of Delhi’s buses

At present, there are 1,580 Delhi Integrated Multi-Model Transit System (DIMTS) cluster buses and 3,796 DTC buses plying on the city’s roads. The Delhi cabinet also approved a tender for 1,000 low-floor AC buses last week.

However, as ThePrint reported earlier, the DTC will be left with only 204 functional buses by 2025, because until last week, Arvind Kejriwal’s government had not added a single bus to the fleet. According to another DTC official, the last time the DTC got new buses was in 2011-12, when it received 32 of them.

Other potential problems

Sources said officials were apprehensive that the bus staff could easily misuse the proposed rules and manipulate ticket sales, because it’s difficult to monitor tickets once they’re torn out of the book and handed to the riders. That’s why the report has suggested common pink smartcards to be used for buses and the metro.

Other possible concerns conveyed to the Delhi government include increased ridership — in case the scheme gets approved only for buses and not the metro — and overcrowding and stampede-like situations in buses.

Also read: Why Arvind Kejriwal is unlikely to keep his free metro travel promise to women

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  1. If kejriwal had been taught the right economics during his formative period who knows he would have been a free market Messiah now. Socialism is the mother & father of all evils. Kejriwal must die, socialism must die.

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