Pierre Trudea, a middle-aged engineer from Montreal, Canada, was in Delhi on an official trip. On Sunday, he decided to go sightseeing, and boarded a HoHo (Hop on hop off) bus to get a glimpse of Delhi’s historical places.
It was easy. He took a bus from the National Museum, bought a ticket and then relaxed in the bus. India Gate, Safdarjung Tomb and Dilli Haat, and more came into view. A 21-year-old guest relation executive threw light on the importance of heritage monuments. “I still have a jetlag...travelling in this comfortable bus is the best way to understand the city. Though I have not got off I would like to when we reach Lotus Temple,” said Trudea.
The HoHo bus service is a Delhi Tourism initiative launched in collaboration with private partners, Purple and Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) Limited during the run-up to the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists in Delhi have hopped on and off the HoHo. There are seven buses altogether in two categories — red and green. While the red bus covers the north and central Delhi with Jantar Mantar and Feroz Shah Kotla as highlights, the green bus heads to South Delhi where the Lotus Temple and Qutab Minar
“The ticket for one route (either green or red) is Rs 300 while a single ticket for both routes is Rs 500 for Indian tourists. However, foreigners have to pay double the amount. The four interchange junctions are India Gate, National Gallery of Modern Art, Humayun’s Tomb and Safdarjung Tomb,” said Jayajit Dey, senior manager, Operations and Marketing, Purple-UMTC Transit Private Limited which
What’s special about the HoHo concept is that there are buses to these 20 monuments every 45 minutes. The buses are on time in spite of the traffic. Thomas Lehmeier, a management consultant from Germany, said the HoHo service was quite similar to the bus service in London, Shanghai, Sydney and Canada. His only grouse was “the long wait of 45 minutes.” “Some monuments don’t need much time. For instance, if you visit a tomb, you may not want to spend 45 minutes at every tomb after that,” he said.
Another tourist Francisco F Vill, a rugby player from Spain, thought the guest relation executive was speaking “too fast.” “The bus should stop for a few seconds while the executive tells us something about the monument,” said Vill.
However, most tourists enjoy the HoHo experience. Phillip Goetz, a student of dental medicine, Munich University, who is in Delhi with his friend Meike was happy with the bus service largely because of the commentary by the guest relations executive.