The Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit recently flagged off 50 buses as a part of a new cluster launched by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd. The cluster, similar to such services in London and Paris, will contain a total of 119 buses, with the remaining buses scheduled to be introduced into service shortly. This cluster is the second one launched, the first being launched in May 2011. The new buses are fitted with GPS which will provide real-time information of their important parameters such as location and speed. They have electronic ticketing machines which provide ease in dispensing tickets, and send real-time ticketing information to the backend office. To control over-speeding by drivers, the new buses are fitted with in-built speed governors which regulate the speed of the buses. The buses have an on-board display and voice announcement system which inform commuters about the upcoming bus stops. Also on board are CCTV cameras for improved security, a clock and a temperature reader.
The buses are Euro-IV compliant, and meet the urban bus specifications set by the central government. They are a modified version of the standard floor buses used earlier. The cluster services will follow a unified time table developed by DIMTS, and an Operation Control Centre located at ISBT, Kashmere Gate, will monitor their operation through an Automatic Vehicle Location System (AVLS). The Delhi government has divided the nearly 650 bus routes in Delhi into 17 clusters — each comprising profitable and non-profitable routes, and has decided to give each cluster to a private operator, who will be the concessionaire for the cluster. AB Grain Spirit Pvt Ltd is the concessionaire for the second cluster. Thus the services in each cluster will be serviced by the DTC and a concessionaire, with the DTC operating 40 percent, and the concessionaire 60 percent of the services. DTC will collect the revenue from the services while the concessionaire will be paid a fixed amount for each kilometre travelled.
The Delhi government hopes to eventually have 800 buses under cluster services by the end of the year when services in four more clusters will be launched.