Delhi Issues Draft Premium Bus Scheme 2023 and the Shifting Landscape of Motor Policy in Sustainable Urban Transportation


In a significant move towards enhancing public transportation in Delhi, the draft of “The Delhi Motor Vehicles Licensing of Aggregator (Premium Buses) Scheme 2023” has been introduced. The scheme, published as required under the Motor Vehicle Act of 1988, signifies the government’s commitment to promoting sustainable and efficient modes of transport.

Published on May 26, 2023, by the Transport Department of the Government of NCT of Delhi, the draft invites objections and suggestions from the public and stakeholders for thirty days from the date of its publication in the Delhi Gazette. After considering the received feedback, the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi has officially released the scheme.

This scheme, known as “The Delhi Motor Vehicles Licensing of Aggregator (Premium Buses) Scheme, 2023,” applies to all premium buses operating under a valid Aggregator license within the National Capital Territory of Delhi. It came into effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette.

To be eligible for an aggregator license, the license holder must operate and maintain a fleet of a minimum of 25 premium buses within 90 days from the day of the license grant. The minimum and maximum number of buses may be adjusted by the Competent Authority as needed. Importantly, the license will not be granted to entities that are insolvent or blacklisted by any State Transport Authority.

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Applicants must demonstrate a mandatory experience of at least three years in operating or managing vehicles in public transport/shared transportation. The experience can be showcased through a fleet of a minimum of 100 passenger buses, 1000 passenger cars, or a mixed fleet equivalent to at least 100 buses.

The license holder must comply with all applicable provisions under the Motor Vehicle Act and related rules, submitting an undertaking on non-judicial stamp paper along with the license application. Additionally, the buses must possess a Contract Carriage permit to ensure proper regulation and adherence to road discipline.

For the grant or renewal of a license, the applicant needs to submit an application in the specified form along with proof of payment, interest-free security deposit, and various documents, including a list of proposed vehicles, proof of adequate parking spaces, and relevant vehicle documents.

The license, valid for five years, is subject to renewal based on satisfactory compliance with the scheme’s requirements and overall service quality. Dynamic pricing is permitted, but the base fare should not be less than the peak fare of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Air-Conditioned buses. Pre-booked digital ticketing is mandatory, and payments are to be collected only through electronic/digital modes.

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The license holder must provide an application programming interface (API) with the current digital solution ONE DELHI app deployed by the Transport Department. Vehicles must be covered by insurance providing accidental coverage of at least ₹10 lakhs for occupants. Certificates of fitness, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits are mandatory for each bus.

The buses can pick up and drop off passengers from notified bus queue shelters, and the license holder can determine potential routes. The license holder is responsible for maintaining a digital passenger manifest, displaying information on mobile and web-based applications, and facilitating passenger complaints.

In case of any violation of the scheme, the license holder is liable for penalties under Section 193 of the Motor Vehicle Act 1988. The scheme complements existing provisions and focuses on ensuring a safe, efficient, and consumer-friendly premium bus service in Delhi. The government reserves the right to conduct inspections and investigations for effective implementation while ensuring the confidentiality of obtained information.

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This scheme represents a step forward in modernizing and streamlining premium bus services in Delhi, aligning with the city’s commitment to sustainable and accessible public transportation.

Please view the document below for more details.

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