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The Delhi government has proposed to start a ‘Premium Bus Service’ for the elite class with higher fares, a step aimed at encouraging them to use public transport.
According to the plan, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) may run air-conditioned premium buses for those who can afford higher fares.
“Delhi government will launch Premium Bus Service for elite class, most of whom use their cars to go to their offices as of now. The fares of this service will be higher in comparison to normal bus service. These buses will ply only on selected routes where elite class is residing and working.They can also book their seats in these buses online,” Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said.
Air quality in Delhi improved considerably on Saturday, mainly due to strong winds and sunny conditions, with level of particulate matter settling 50 per cent less than the average readings since the enforcement of the odd-even car rationing measures, the Delhi government today said.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), which collected samples from 18 locations across the city, said PM 2.5 and PM 10, respirable particulate matters that cause harm to the respiratory system, saw an average reduction of 50 and 30 per cent respectively.
"PM 2.5 air pollution levels on Saturday at these 18 locations showed recordings of less than 100 micrograms per cubic metre (ug/m3) at nine locations, which is more than 50 per cent less than average recordings since the odd-even regulations were put in place for four-wheeled vehicles since January 1," an official statement said.
Experts had put yesterday's air quality in the 'moderate' category, which is a rarity during the city's winters, notorious for soaring levels of pollutants.
Persistently high levels of PM 2.5 and PM 10 and smog largely owing to hostile weather conditions over the past one week had put questions marks over the efficacy of the odd-even scheme.
The safe limits of PM 2.5 and PM 10, a product of vehicular emissions and dust among others, are 60 and 100 each. Anything beyond that is harmful as the particles get embedded deep into the lungs and, subsequently, enter the bloodstream.
Of these total 18 locations, the lowest measurement was at 59 (Jhilmil Colony, Shahdara) and the highest at 301 (Kazipur, Najafgarh).
DPCC's mobile vans have so far collected samples from around 150 locations.
In 18 locations measured on Saturday, even the PM 10 air pollution levels have shown a "marked decline", the government said adding that it have been recorded between 135-475.
"Scientists have been consistently predicting that the moment weather conditions improve, the results of odd/even formula for four-wheeled vehicles will show immediate results," the statement said.
TIMES OF INDIA, JAN 8, 2016
E-ticketing machines in 20 DTC buses
New Delhi: Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has taken the first step towards an integrated mobility card for buses and the Delhi Metro. Since Wednesday, DTC has installed electronic ticketing machines (ETM) in 20 buses on route number 901. Over the rest of this month, it will install ETMs in 100 buses each at two depots: Rajghat and Rohini, said DTC spokesperson, R S Minhas.
DTC has been trying to install ETMs for some time. It was mooted way back in 2010, but could not take off due to several reasons. The state bus agency hopes to install ETMs in all its 4,500 buses by the end of June. "And by the end of this year, we hope that the common mobility card will become a reality," added Minhas. At present, the ETM will produce a regular printed ticket. "The commuter will have to enter the destination and a ticket will be issued," added Minhas. He added that the feedback so far has been positive.
According to the DTC, once the ETM system is stabilised, a smart card will be introduced. DTC hopes that ETMs will plug revenue leaks that have beset the agency for decades. They will also cut down on ticketless travelling. Said a senior official, "ETMs will ensure that operational costs are brought down," said an official. Officials say that the biggest benefit of the electronic ticketing machine will be in revenue collection, as well as cutting down substantially on ticketless travel by commuters. The ETM will ensure that fare for every ticket sold is accounted for, which at present is done manually. Combined with the fact that all DTC buses are on GPS, officials are hoping that leakage of revenue will be tackled, as the GPS ensures that buses go on the designated route, and don't miss stops.
In 2011, the union ministry had launched the More card, which was a common mobility card that allowed anyone to travel on any mode of transport across the country. The idea was that the card would enable a commuter to travel seamlessly through any mode of transport, without having to carry separate cards for the different transport systems. Access to bus, metro or rail would be possible through a single card. Even parking payments and paying traffic challans through the were discussed as possible features. However, the card failed to take off due to lack of an automated fare collection system on most public transport agencies. The More card works in the Delhi Metro only at present.