In all, the city needs a fleet of 2,850 buses by 2041, which means that it needs to add around 2,700 buses in the next 20 years. If Gurugaman’s fleet is increased by 600 buses soon, it will be able to meet the city’s demand till 2022. Thereafter, Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) — the agency in charge of the city bus service — will need to add another 800 buses in Phase 2 for the period 2022-2026, 600 in Phase 3 for the years 2026-2031 and 700 buses in Phase 4 (2031-2041).
“The bus fleet mix proposed shall comprise of 60% standard buses and 40% mid-size buses of the total fleet for efficient operation within the city. All these will be urban buses with low floors,” states the mobility plan.
It further adds that over time, all buses should be air-conditioned in order to wean away those commuting via cars and two-wheelers to buses. As of now, none of the buses in the city are air-conditioned, which is also a major reason behind people not using the bus service.
Besides, sources within GMDA said “improper route planning” is another reason for low ridership in city buses. There is a need for additional eight bus terminals cum depots, each with a capacity of 250 buses. Gurgaon has only one bus terminal cum depot at present, which can be redeveloped, the plan states. “Limited city bus services are offered by Haryana Roadways and GMCBL, which are inadequate for the city,” states the plan, a copy of which was accessed by TOI.
GMCBL chief Anju Choudhary could not be approached for a comment.
Increasing the number of buses which is required as per the mobility plan, however, will be a challenge for GMCBL for several reasons. One of them is financial troubles. The city bus service, which was launched by the chief minister in 2018, hasn’t been generating enough revenue to sustain itself.
Moreover, ridership on the existing routes has been below par, especially after the pandemic, which is why a few GMCBL buses are now plying in Faridabad.