Enjoying an economical ride

BUDGET TRAVEL

Hundreds of Delhiites still queue up every day in front of box-shaped green and yellow coloured booths of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) office, to get their bus passes made.

Commute easy : People line up for bus passes at a DTC office.

Even after the well-planned and meticulously laid out Delhi Metro routes, a lot of them still opt for the age-old DTC bus passes to travel in Delhi and NCR.

Metrolife asks Delhiites about the reason for getting these bus passes issued, especially since the concession on passes is valid only for students, senior citizens, sportsmen, those in Below Poverty Line (BPL) category, physically challenged, politicians and journalists, while free passes can only be availed by war widows and freedom fighters.

Apart from these, people are also entitled to make use of general category passes and day passes.

There is a seasonal rush of college students to avail the bus passes at a discounted rate of Rs 75 for five months. Lakhs of freshers who get enrolled in Delhi University every year along with the old students, form a major chunk of this population.

Avni Chauhan, a student of Hindu College, travels daily from Noida to North Campus through DTC bus pass. Avni feels that the economical bus pass is a boon for students.

“Travelling from Noida to North Campus by metro would make me go bankrupt. It is only due to the DTC bus pass for students that I am able to budget my travelling expenditure and save pocket money for shopping.”

Not only college but even school students avail this facility to save on their travelling cost. Tanya Arora, Std VIII student of Modern School, Barakhamba Road, is accompanied by her mother to the bus pass issuing office at Scindia House, which alone issues around 350 passes to different categories, everyday.

She says, “I live in Shanti Mohalla, East Delhi and usually travel by bus as the metro station is very far from my school. It is easy for me to commute by bus as it saves my travelling time and is comparatively cheaper.”

Senior citizens O P Mahajan and Rajinder Singh Shetty are among the many smiling faces, who thank the Delhi government for providing them with this facility. A retired official from Department of Telecom, Mahajan recently started availing the Rs 150 bus pass which is valid for all bus routes. He says, “With the availability of a bus pass, it is extremely convenient for us to travel independently in buses without worrying about buying the ticket every time, especially when the bus is crowded.” Rajinder shares the same sentiment. He says, “I live in Malviya Nagar and it is only due to the Rs 50 monthly pass  for senior citizens that I am able to pay regular visits to Bangla Sahib Gurdwara.”

Shambhu Sharma, an autorickshaw driver also prefers travelling with a bus pass. He says, “I get a bus pass in general category for Rs 815 every month.” When asked about his preference, he says, “Buses cover a wider area in the City than metro, which has fewer stations and it is very convenient to travel once you have a pass. Also, I don’t feel that metro is in any better state with hordes of people pushing you in and out of the train!” A similar opinion is shared by media person Anil Tiwari. He enquires, “Why should I unnecessarily climb 200 stairs at metro station when I have the option of travelling conveniently in buses with a concessional pass for journalists, costing me Rs 100 per month?”

A DTC official says, “In November last year, nearly 1.80 lakh passes were issued by DTC. The immediate benefit of these passes is reaped by marketing professionals, who have to travel throughout the day and therefore opt for day passes costing Rs 40 and 50 for non-AC and AC buses respectively. Also, a large number of students get their passes made and renewed at regular intervals and enjoy low budget travel in the City.”

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