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Daily ridership in buses declines by 4L in March

Daily ridership in buses declines by 4L in March

New Delhi:

After Delhi Metro, the novel coronavirus outbreak has affected the footfall of commuters taking public buses. According to the latest report, the average daily footfall in the past 15 days of February compared with the number of commuters in the first 15 days of March has gone down by four lakh.

As per teh Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) ridership figures, 4.86 crore passengers travelled in 3,781 buses between February 15 and February 29, with average daily footfall coming to 32.44 lakh. However, between March 1 and March 15, the total passengers who travelled by DTC buses was 4.47 crore with an average daily footfall of 29.84 lakh. The dip in DTC’s average daily ridership is of nearly 2.6 lakh in March compared with February.

Though the exact ridership figures of the cluster buses, which has a fleet of 2,512, is not available, sources confirmed that compared with the average daily ridership in February, the daily average in the first 15 days of March has seen a dip of 1.4 lakh. As per the figures available till January 2020, cluster scheme buses approximately ferry over 12 lakh passengers daily.

In the past 15 days of February, DTC witnessed ridership between 32 and 35 lakh on 10 days, the highest being on February 20 – 34.8 lakh. The highest ridership recorded in the first 15 days of March was 33.3 lakh on two days — March 3 and 4. The lowest ridership of 27.4 lakh was on February 16, a Sunday. In March, the lowest was on the day of Holi, March 10 — 16.1 lakh. On March 10, DTC had started its bus services after 2pm.

“The footfall had started to fall in February itself due to riots in northeast Delhi. The Covid-19 outbreak has definitely affected the ridership further in March with many offices encouraging employees to work from home, among other reasons,” a DTC official said. He added that there was usually a dip in March every year due to many reasons, including vacations in schools and other educational institutions.

Delhi Metro has also witnessed a dip of 18.5% in ridership in the same period. While February saw average passenger journey of 57.13 lakh per day, the average witnessed till March 15 has dipped to 46.53 lakh. Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said this was an annual trend, and every year and the footfall dipped in March. DMRC had said the number of passenger journey was dependent on various factors at any given point in normal course like vacation, examination, monsoon, festivals, strikes or closures etc, and utilisation followed a monthly pattern accordingly.