Looking to add additional safety and reliability features on public transport buses, the Delhi Transport Corporation plans to install CCTV cameras with in-built GPS units.
A total of over 3,600 buses would get the new units, said a Transport Department official, hoping the move would help counter the apathy of city commuters towards public transport buses and check congestion on roads caused due to increasing private vehicles.
Apart from serving as a deterrent for criminals, the new CCTV-GPS units would help generate real-time data on vehicles’ movement for flashing the buses’ expected time of arrival on LED boards – Public Information System – put up at bus stops in central Delhi.
“All DTC buses will soon be linked to PIS system which currently flashes information related to private orange cluster buses only,” said the official. Transport experts pressing for bigger public transport bus fleet which offers comfortable, safe and reliable connectivity is one way of encouraging more commuters to give up their private vehicles and use the safer buses.
The 6,000-odd buses of the DTC and private operators in Delhi carry some five million passengers daily, almost double the daily load of the Metro.
“There is still a huge scope to double the public transport bus fleet to wean away commuters from private vehicles,” said Kanika Kalra of the Institute of Urban Transport.
Delhi has 106 cars for every 1,000 people, nearly seven times the national average. Almost half of the city’s daily commuters still use private vehicles. As a result, new vehicles are bought daily – nearly 1,100.
DTC spokesperson R S Minhas said: “The corporation earlier installed CCTV cameras in 200 low-floor buses under a pilot project. After the pilot project’s success, we would now add the additional safety measure of GPS along with the CCTV cameras on our buses,” said Minhas.
The DTC has 4,705 buses in its fleet. Of these, 900 buses have old bodies so these would not be considered for the CCTV-GPS units. The 200 low-floor buses which were fitted with CCTV cameras will also not be considered for the new units.
The footage of these cameras is recorded by the main server and preserved for over a month. During the pilot project on 200 buses, the corporation and police used the footage of some buses to solve crimes committed in moving vehicles.
At some stage, the Transport Department plans to extend the CCTV facility to the orange private cluster buses as well. Currently, these buses only have GPS facility to feed the PIS.
Currently, as many as 1,324 cluster buses are being operated by the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System.
GPS units were made compulsory by court in all public transport vehicles, including buses, autorickshaws and taxis, after the December 16 gang-rape case.