The Blueline phase-out in Noida left hundreds of commuters inconvenienced on Friday with hiked up bus fares adding to the passengers’ woes.
As many as 252 Blueline buses have been taken off the Noida route and replaced by 200 low-floor Delhi Transport Corporation buses. The Transport Department also started impounding Blueline buses operating without authorisation on the route on Friday.
Twenty-nine year-old Aastha Sharma said: “I have been waiting for a bus to Gurgaon for over 30 minutes now. This decision seems to have been taken without thinking about its fall-out on the public. Commuters are suffering as there are not enough DTC buses to meet the demand. Moreover, the low-floor buses have lesser carrying capacity causing more overcrowding and inconvenience than before.”
“Instead of solving the public transport problem, this move would give further incentive to people to buy personal vehicles like cars and motorcycles, all leading to even more congestion and traffic bottlenecks on the Capital’s roads,” she added.
The hiked fares that came into effect from Thursday have also left commuters fuming. Abha Verma, a daily commuter to Ashok Vihar on route 355, said: “Earlier I used to pay Rs.11 for my ticket from Noida, then it became Rs.16 and now it has shot up to Rs.22! This more-than-double increase is going to hit my budget hard. As apart from the bus I have to use other modes of transport like cycle-rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and the metro rail daily. My daily transport budget would shoot up to Rs.100 easily, thanks to the new DTC fares.”
Another daily commuter, Sai Ram, added: “After 9 p.m. there is no DTC bus from Noida Sector-37 to Badarpur as the service winds up by that time. So far Blueline bus operators were filling that gap by providing bus services after 9 p.m. But now that they have been taken off the roads, I will be left with no option but to take private jeeps which have also increased their rates.”
Several commuters were also caught off guard and left stranded in the morning when the Blueline buses they were travelling in were impounded mid-way forcing passengers to de-board and fend for themselves.