Wanting to travel around Delhi by bus? This quick guide to Delhi buses will get you started. Most of the buses in Delhi are operated by the government-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). The network of services is vast—there are about 800 bus routes and 2,500 bus stops connecting almost every part of the city!
The buses use environmentally friendly Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and they are apparently the largest fleet of their kind in the world.
Types of Buses
Delhi's bus system has undergone radical changes in recent years to improve safety and performance. In 2011, the notoriously erratic privately-operated Blueline buses were phased out. They've been replaced by frequent and clean non-air conditioned orange "cluster" buses, which run under public-private partnership agreements.
The cluster buses are regulated by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) and tracked via GPS. Tickets are computerized, drivers undergo special training, and there are strict standards for cleanliness and punctuality. However, the buses aren't air-conditioned, so they do get hot and uncomfortable in the summer.
The DTC's rickety old buses are also being phased out and replaced with new low-floored green and red buses. The red ones are air-conditioned and you'll find them on almost all routes across the city.
Buses generally run from around 5.30 a.m. until 10.30-11 p.m. at night. After this, night service buses continue to operate on prominent, busy routes.
The frequency of buses varies from 5 minutes to 30 minutes or more, according to the route and time of day. On most routes, there will be a bus every 15 to 20 minutes. Buses can be unreliable depending on the amount of traffic on the roads. A timetable of DTC bus routes is available online.
The Mudrika Seva and Bahri Mudrika Seva, which run along the main Ring Road and Outer Ring Road respectively, are among the most popular routes. The Bahri Mudrika Seva extends for 105 kilometers and is the city's longest bus route! It encircles the whole city. As part of the changes to the bus system, new routes have been introduced to feed into the Metro train network.
Fares are more expensive on the new air-conditioned buses. You'll pay a minimum of 10 rupees and a maximum of 25 rupees per trip on an air-conditioned bus, while the fare on ordinary buses is between 5 and 15 rupees. Check online to see a fare chart.
A daily Green Card is available for travel on all DTC bus services (except Palam Coach, Tourist and Express services). The cost is 40 rupees for non-air conditioned buses and 50 rupees for air-conditioned buses.
Delhi Airport Express Service
DTC launched a popular airport bus service in late 2010. It connects Delhi Airport Terminal 3 with important locations including Kashmere Gate ISBT (via New Delhi Railway Station and Connaught Place), Anand Vihar ISBT, Indirapuram (via Sector 62 in Noida), Rohini (Avantika), Azadpur, Rajendra Place and Gurgaon.
There are many types of guided tours in Delhi. Delhi Transport Corporation also operates cheap Delhi Darshan sightseeing tours. The fare is only 200 rupees for adults and 100 rupees for children. Buses depart from Scindia House in Connaught Place and stop at popular attractions around Delhi.
In addition, Delhi Tourism operates a purple air-conditioned Delhi Hop on Hop Off bus service for tourists. There are separate ticket prices for Indians and foreigners. A one day ticket costs 1,000 rupees for foreigners and 500 rupees for Indians. A two-day ticket cost ~1,200 rupees for foreigners and ~600 rupees for Indians.