Authorities to face hard time on first working day

Authorities will grapple with challenges such as reducing commute time and enforcing lane discipline when the city’s odd-even experiment faces its first working day rush on Monday.

Heavy traffic was seen in various parts of the city on Friday despite nearly 10 lakh private car staying off roads due to Delhi government’s car rationing scheme.
Buses also veered away from their lanes on Friday, even though, ahead of the experiment, Delhi government had directed challaning those not plying in the 'bus-only' lanes.

“No one pays heed to vehicles parked in the bus-exclusive lanes,” a DTC bus conductor said, showing a video he had shot from the moving bus of irregularly parked vehicles at Rani Bagh market.

The extreme-left lane on all busy roads have been marked and converted into bus lanes.

If buses cross into another lane, they are liable for a fine by the Traffic Police. However, other vehicles are allowed to use the lane.

Similar lane markings were in place during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The government had then deployed police personnel every few metres to maintain lane discipline and facilitate travel of athletes.

DTC workers told Deccan Herald that lane disciplining is not as strict this year.
Giving a huge boost to public transportation ahead of the implementation of the road-rationing scheme, Delhi government added 3,000 more private buses to DTC's fleet.

Currently, the DTC operates about 4,700 buses, while the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transport System (DIMTS) – a joint venture between the city government and the Infrastructure and Development and Finance Corporation – oversees operations of some 1,200 orange-coloured cluster buses.

Travel time

The success of the odd-even scheme, however, will depend on how well the government does in reducing the commute time. According to data from Payscale, a US-based salary tracking firm, the average one-way commuting time in Delhi is 42.96 minutes.

Delhi government has tied up with Twitter to give information on bus and Metro routes between two places. Tweets are to be sent to Delhi government’s handle @TransportDelhi.

On Friday, hundreds of Delhiites tweeted to find ways to get around the city.
The government has also added carpooling feature in its Poochh-O app, which helps commuters book three-wheelers and cabs through smartphones during the trial.

“Do complain in case of refusal by auto drivers. They will be punished,” Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai told reporters on Friday.

However, Delhiites rue that nothing has been done by the government to stop private app-based taxi firms like Uber and Ola from surge charging during the odd-even experiment.

Surge price are applicable when demand outstrips the number of drivers on the road. “I had to pay two times more when I booked an Ola cab in the morning,” Sudhakar Jha, a Patparganj resident said.

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