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Delhi to allow app-based premium bus services from June

After implementing the odd-even rule, the Delhi government has embarked upon another new initiative to curb pollution and strengthen public transport by allowing an app-based premium bus service to ply in the city.

The app-based air-conditioned premium bus shuttle service with Wi-Fi will be launched from June 1. It allows people to book their seats in buses through their smartphones. This premium service offers a more comfortable and convenient transport service to the residents. These buses will also use CNG as the fuel.

As per the scheme, participating companies like Ola and Uber will determine the routes and notify the users about the same on their apps. Users can book their seats in advance and use the service.

To get a license from the transport department, the aggregator companies will have to have at least 50 running buses in their fleet. The license would not allow a bus to be using more than three aggregator services at a time.

Unlike regular bus services, there won't be cash transactions, and payment for app-based service can be made only in electronic format. According to officials in the Delhi transport department, the government is yet to decide the upper limit of the fares to be charged.

Under the new scheme, the government has laid down strict norms for the aggregators to adhere to. The participating bus hailing aggregators have to furnish the name and other details of the bus driver, the route and timings of every service have to be clearly stated.

It is also mandatory for the aggregators to provide measures to ensure safety of women, along with an in-app panic button. To make your travel under this scheme more secure, the buses will be equipped with two CCTV cameras and GPS.

In case the bus service is cancelled due to unforeseen reasons, the companies will either have to arrange for an alternative mode of transport or refund the entire fee to the passengers. If the service is cancelled for any other reason, the companies will have to pay at least 10 times the money of the amount they charged.