Delhi took a major step forward in integrating and promoting its public transport system with the launch of the first-ever air-conditioned circular bus service by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in Sector 8 of Dwarka here on Tuesday. She also inaugurated a DTC bus depot during the day.

Addressing the gathering that comprised Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely and Members of Parliament Mahabal Mishra and Ramesh Kumar, the Chief Minister said it was a red letter day for Dwarka as the launch of the DTC’s circular bus service would make short distance commuting very easy, comfortable and hassle-free. Such travel would also be very reasonable since the rates would be less than even non-AC DTC buses in some cases, she added.

Ms. Dikshit said the minimum fare in the circular service would be Rs.2.50 whereas it is Rs.5 in non-AC buses. Stating that commuters using the circular service will be charged at Rs.2.50 per km for a distance up to 4 km, she said beyond 4 km they would be charged Rs.1.25 per km with the maximum fare being Rs.25.

The Dwarka Circular Service (+) and (-) will cover Dwarka Morh, Dwarka 6/7 crossing, Sector-10 Metro Station, Sector 8 DTC Depot, Sector-22/23, Sector 22 Govt. Senior Secondary School, Sector 23 Pochanpur, Sector 19 Modern International School, Sector 19 Pocket-3, Sector 18B DDA Flats, Sector 12 Pocket-8 DDA Flats, Sector 12 Ashirvad Chowk, Sector 4, Sector 6 DDA Shopping Centre and Dwarka Morh.

Declaring that the her government was eager to provide a reliable and modern public transport system in Delhi in view of the upcoming Commonwealth Games, Ms. Dikshit said it was keen on bringing between 5,000 and 6,000 AC and non-AC buses within the next one year. Apart from this, she said, it has also been decided that Global Positioning System would be installed to monitor the movement of buses and to ensure their proper maintenance.

The Chief Minister said the Government was also working on bringing about behavioural improvement in the staff ahead of the Games and to this end DTC was imparting training to its conductors so that they are more courteous to passengers, including international tourists, during the international sporting event.

The new depot has been constructed over an area of five acres and would cater to 12,000 passengers per day. Apart from Dwarka Circular Service, the depot will also provide service for another four routes including Palam AC coach from Indira Gandhi International Airport to Inter-State Bus Terminus.

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