India requires 24 times more buses to allow commuters to social distance effectively
A new study shows that India’s existing nation-wide bus fleet has only a fraction of the necessary vehicles required to enable commuters to follow social distancing measures.
A new study conducted by Climate Trends, a Delhi-based strategic communications body, has found that India’s collective bus fleet would need to be bolstered by a further 600,000 vehicles to allow commuters to properly follow social distancing guidelines.
As reported by Business Insider, the study was based on Mumbai-specific norms, which allow 30 passengers per Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport bus. Using these metrics, the study found that the country would need more than 666,000 buses for its 25 million daily commuters. By comparison, the study outlines that India currently has just 25,000 operational buses.
“The disparity in the existing bus fleet in India vs requirements is enormous,” said Aarti Khosla, Director and Climate Trends. “The bus system is the backbone of mass transit, especially now when we are also expected to follow the social distancing norm, there is an immediate need to amplify the number of buses.”
Taking Delhi as an example, the study found that Delhi would require over 14,000 buses for its average daily ridership of 4.3 million people, but currently has a fleet of only 5,576.
The development of public transport infrastructure in India is crucial at this time, especially with lockdown measures across the country being eased and metro and rail lines already over capacity in many places.