DTC sets targets for low-floor bus drivers......conducts training for them

Move is aimed at augmenting revenue to meet operational cost

On the lines of the erstwhile blueline buses, the DTC management has decided to fix targets for the drivers of the low-floor buses to ensure a minimum amount of fare collection in their shift.

The pressure of meeting a target of generating a minimum amount of money through the day, set by the blueline bus owners, was one of the major reason why the blueline drivers engaged in a rat race of fetching maximum commuters, which, in turn, earned them the tag of being the ‘killer buses’.

The DTC officials said the initiative was aimed at augmenting its revenue so as to meet the operations cost of the low-floor buses. The current fleet of the low-floor buses of DTC has around 3,800 buses, including both AC and non-AC buses.

“Each driver on duty in the morning shift have been given a target of ensuring a revenue of Rs 4,500 in his shift. Similarly a driver in the evening shift would have to ensure Rs 3,300 in his shift,” a DTC official said.

The revised target would help the DTC in increasing its revenue by 15-20 per cent. The DTC official justified the decision of setting targets for the drivers even as he allayed the fear of added pressure leading to rash driving by the drivers.

“We need to augment our revenue. Most of the drivers are working on contracts. They need to justify their utility. However, the new technologies, including GPS, would help us monitor the movement of the buses. Those violating the rules would be punished,” the DTC official said.

While the overall operating cost of a DTC bus is Rs 47.1 per kilometre, income generated per kilometre by a bus is Rs 33.5.

In case of the non-AC low-floor buses, the operation cost is Rs 39 per kilometre, while the bus generates an average income of Rs 35 per kilometre. In case of the AC buses, the operation cost is Rs 40 per kilometre, while income stands at Rs 34.5 per kilometre.

Aimed at reducing the number of fatal accidents committed by its fleet, Delhi Transport Corporation has been conducting special training programmes to sensitise the drivers on traffic rules and improve their driving skills.

“Training is being provided not only by the expert and qualified instructors but also a special film has been prepared and is being shown to all the drivers. Moreover, on-wheel training has also been imparted so as to correct the driving habits of the drivers. A total number of 10,188 drivers were imparted refresher training and 4,820 drivers were also sent for one-day capsule course during the year 2011,” said Sharat Kumar, senior manager (PR). He said the DTC is also taking other measures like observation of a safety week every month and categorisation of drivers who have committed accidents a certain number of times.

“The drivers, both permanent and contractual, have been categorised into categories A, B and C. These drivers are being given special training and a skill test is being conducted from time to time. Strict action would be taken against drivers who commit accidents in future,” said P K Gupta, chairman-cum-managing director, DTC.

Drivers, who have committed five or more accidents, were grouped in A category. A total of 96 drivers have been listed in A category, 2,086 in B and 4,569 in C. The total number of fatal accidents by the DTC buses has gone up from 52 in 2010 to 83 in 2011.

The DTC officials said the number is minuscule if the figure is compared to the total number of fatal accidents on Delhi roads. “2007 people died in road accidents last year. Moreover, the number of DTC buses on roads has also gone high apart from the increased length covered by the DTC buses. By that standards, the present rate of accidents by DTC buses is approximately 0.08 per lakh kilometre,” explained Sharat Kumar.

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