AAP government today announced Premium Bus Service that will allow Delhiites to book their seats in buses through their smartphones. The service will be available from June.
Only air-conditioned buses will ply under the scheme according to which one bus aggregator will have to run at least 50 vehicles to get a license from Delhi government’s Transport department.
Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said that bus aggregators will have an individual app like Ola, Uber and they will be allowed to decide their fares, but if need arises government will prescribe upper limit of fares or take steps to check predatory pricing. He said the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
With Delhi Government giving green signal to new bus service based on mobile application, Ola and Uber, which are already facing criticism for surge pricing during the second phase of odd-even scheme, may also enter into new business and run app-based bus services as well in the national capital.
As per new policy, bus aggregators will determine the routes on which Premimum buses will ply from time to time and specify such routes along with the time schedule of each trip on its web-based application.
Government has made compulsory installation of two CCTV cameras, wi-fi and GPS in each bus to be plied under new service. In view of women safety, bus aggregators will have to ensure panic button in their apps, he said, adding that the registration of such buses will start from June 1.
Ola and Uber whoever fulfill all conditions of the permits can run ‘Premium Bus Service’.
App users can book their seat through their phone by finding the buses going towards their destination. Five minutes before the departure, bus aggregators will have to freeze bookings and display a list of passengers. Drivers of the vehicle can not allow other passengers in the way who have not booked their seats.
After accepting the booking of a passenger, aggregators can not cancel the service except upon occurrence of break-down and in that case, companies will have to refund passenger no less than twice the amount they received from the affected passengers.
If bus aggregator cancel booking other then reason of break-down and force majeure, they will have to pay ten times the amount the fare received, he said.