As Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) reaches its second anniversary on September 2, 2020, Team GMCBL has conveyed its heartfelt thanks to the people of Gurugram for supporting this mode of public transport system in the pandemic and even during normal times.
CEO GMCBL Anju Chaudhry IAS, acting on the feedback and the demand coming from people, has sanctioned opening of two more routes, Route 215 and Route 222 from tomorrow, Sep 2, 2020. People will be able to travel up to Dundahera and back from Gurugram Bus Stand on Route 215. And those staying in Palam Vihar can now travel on Route 222 till Gurugram Bus Stand. Currently, six routes with 68 buses are in operation. Around 6 more buses will be deployed to serve Route 215 and 5 buses to serve Route 222. From Gurugram Bus Stand, buses will start at 7: 20 AM for Route 215 and at 8:00 pm for Route 222. GMCBL buses are low-floor, disabled-friendly, running on CNG, equipped with CCTV, Passenger Announcement System, LED display and CSAs use Electronic Ticketing machines. GMCBL commenced its service in Sep 2018, and in the first month around 1,64,122 passengers rode on the bus on its first Route 212 mudrika service. Gradually, routes were added and the service grew to serve on 18 routes with a fleet of 154 buses. In 2020, the bus fleet grew even bigger with the count reaching up to 200 buses. As we reach the second year of service on Sep 2, 2020, the cumulative passenger count till 31st August 2020 is about 2,29,58,700 passengers.
The pandemic effect on public transport ridership can be seen when we compare the August monthly Gurugaman bus ridership in 2019 vs. 2020. In 2019 August, monthly passenger count was 14, 82, 058 passengers. In 2020 August, monthly passenger count is just 4, 66, 522 passengers because of Covid-19 restrictions and the Corona virus scare. Nonetheless, in this two-year journey, GMCBL achieved some significant milestones in its service. The very first milestone achieved was the launch of digital travel cards on Sep 27, 2018. With Point of Sale centres set up at strategic locations, GMCBL helped people travel in a smarter way saving Rs. 2 on every journey every time they used the card to buy the bus tickets. In June 2019, Gurugaman saw its ridership cross over 50,000 passengers. Setting up of Smart Card camps in residential societies at Sector 56 Kendriya Vihar, Sare Homes, at Manesar industrial centre and metro station helped in creating awareness about the service. Digital promotion was done through Gurugaman’s social media platforms, by sending bulk sms messages and engaging Saksham Yuva team to spread awareness at major bus stops and card centres. This effected in GMCBL @gurugaman service touching 1 crore ridership in Sep 2019. Participation in Raahgiri for community promotion, and promotion through the media helped in passenger count increasing up to 1.50 crore total ridership in Dec 2019. GMCBL saw its peak in Feb 2020 with the ridership crossing over 2 crore passengers. This year, the monthly passenger counts in January 2020 were: 22,41, 156 passengers, in Feb 2020 there were 24, 49, 233 passengers, in March 2020, it was 16, 04,869, the number of passengers fell down as Corona virus threat scared them away. From the end of March till June 2020 the service remained suspended due to lockdown. But during lockdown GMCBL supported the frontline workers, repurposing the bus service as transportation of essential goods to serve the locked down residents, bringing food items and essentials to their doorsteps and carried medical teams and patients to and from hospitals. The bus also helped migrants to reach various shelter camps and relief homes and transported Indian repatriates arriving at IGI airport to various quarantine locations in Gurugram. The service resumed in July 2020 with only 50% seating capacity and 18 passengers per bus. Social media postings and video campaign helped inearning trust of passengers. That month we had a monthly ridership of around 3, 37, 178 passengers.
By August 2020, the confidence of passengers grew as several safety measures were incorporated to give safe rides to travellers, resulting in count going up to 4, 66, 522 passengers. By mid August, 2020 the restriction of 18 passengers was lifted off and the service ran in full capacity allowing 36 passengers to board the bus. Today, amid Covid-19 outbreak, more than 20,000 passengers ride the bus every day. GMCBL service has prioritised safety of passengers and provided sanitisers and sanitised buses and masked staff to give them safe rides and build their confidence. Further, monitoring by CSAs of allowing masked passengers and entry through one gate keeps the service focusing on care and efficiency.