The Delhi buses might run with full capacity in the Capital if the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) finds the proposal of the transport department suitable.
In each bus, only 20 passengers are allowed, at present, at any given time to ensure the social distancing norms. Delhi is witnessing crowds at bus stops at peak hours since it has just about half the number of Delhi buses required. As most Delhi buses arrive full, the waiting period for most commuters is long.
There is bound to be a shortage with only 20 passengers allowed on each bus. Even if the cluster scheme and all the 6,598 buses of Delhi Transport Corporation are deployed on the roads, the shortage will continue, said a transport department official.
The official also said that this is the reason why they have prepared a proposal to allow the commuters to occupy all the seats in the buses. But it should also be kept in mind that no standing passengers will be allowed. At a time, 35 commuters can be seated on a bus. By doing this, the carrying capacity of buses will increase by 75%.
Face masks will not be allowed to be removed at any time during the journey to ensure the safety of commuters.
The official said that the problem will persist till Delhi Metro resumes its services. This is because buses cannot be a substitute for a rapid mass transit system.
The official also said that apart from increasing the carrying capacity of buses, the revenue losses will also need to be taken into account. The number of bus trips had been increased by them and was rationalized in order to provide transportation to as many commuters as possible. It has become difficult to cover even the operational cost as more trips mean more revenue losses.
A meeting of DDMA, that will be chaired by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, is expected to review the proposal. The meeting which was initially scheduled to be held on Tuesday was postponed.