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Haryana

City bus service records rise in ridership, will open more routes

July 15, 2020 06:53 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 15

City bus service records rise in ridership, will open more routes
Prayag Arora-Desai

prayag.desai@htlive.com

Gurugram : Ridership on the city bus service has been showing a steady increase each day since operations resumed in the first week of July, after being suspended for more than three months in wake of the coronavirus disease pandemic.

In the first week of July, the city bus service has ferried a total of 56,269 passengers, mainly on long-distance routes to Sohna and Manesar, revealed officials in the Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Ltd (GMCBL).

While the daily average ridership, at around 7,000 per day, in the first week of July was only a fraction of the service’s pre-Covid operations( it was ferrying between 80 to 90,000 passengers on any given weekday in March), officials said that they are seeing a “growing demand” among passengers to restart additional routes and deploy more buses. From 5,265 passengers on July 2 (when the service formally resumed under Unlock 2.0), the ridership almost doubled to 10,149 passengers on July 9.

After being suspended on March 22, the city bus service became operational on six routes with a fleet of 68 buses.

“As we expected, our flagship route, route 212 that runs between Basai and Huda City Centre, is not doing so well because the Metro is shut and many offices along the route have not opened up yet. Our ridership these days is actually coming from industry workers travelling to Manesar and back on route 134B, and there is also a lot of movement between Sohna and Gurugram on route 218. Route 122 (Sikanderpur Metro to Gurugram bus stand) is also doing a little better than route 212,” said Vanita Akhaury, spokesperson, GMCBL.

Akhaury added that no overcrowding has been observed on any routes so far and that officials are keeping a close watch on cycle-timings of the buses to ensure that social distancing norms are followed by commuters. “Only 18 passengers are allowed to board a bus at one time, so we have had to keep the buses on schedule. Without much traffic, this has been easy, and the wait time for passengers has improved to between 12 and 15 minutes on each route,” she said.

The GMCBL’s entire fleet of 200 buses is expected to be rolled out by August 1, officials said. “We will decide on which routes to deploy them based on weekly assessments. For now, we are considering restarting routes 255 and 254. Another route that we are likely to start is route 215 that runs between the Gurugram bus stand to Dundahera,” said Akhaury

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