The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is unhappy with the running of double-decker, vestibule and the recently introduced ring-road bus services in Thiruvananthapuram.
While revenue earnings are very low for double-decker and ring-road services, things are just getting better for vestibule buses following an increase in revenue after the service was extended to Attingal. But the narrow and busy roads pose difficulty for the ‘road-train’ bus drivers.
According to official sources, government started the services without considering the practical difficulties or conducting feasibility studies.
The double-decker has two services in the city, the first one being a heritage service which tourists could book up to eight hours in advance. The second one is a regular service from East Fort to Sasthamangalam and Shankumukham. After starting the heritage service in March 2011, KSRTC could earn just Rs 2,17,000 up to May 2012. Meanwhile, the daily earning of the regular service is not more than Rs 7,000, officials sources revealed.
“Though we have advertised the 72-seater heritage bus well through media and our website, there are very few takers for it and on most days it remains idle at the depot. It has never got more than 20 bookings a month. The regular service, meanwhile, cannot go beyond certain stretches due to overhead cables and tree branches. Considering fuel and maintenance expenses and the current rates, a bus needs to generate revenue of at least Rs 10,000 per day, but with these services, it is not happening,” said a senior KSRTC official.
According to the department, the vestibule bus, with 62 seats has been running at a loss since it was launched in March 2011, but after extending the service up to Attingal recently, it is slowly showing signs of generating income. However, the Rajadhani service through the ring-roads, which was introduced in April 2012, has incurred heavy loss and already the KSRTC has submitted a recommendation to change the routes.
“The daily collection of the Rajadhani buses connecting Poonthura, Beemapalli, Sankhumukham, Veli, Pettah, Palayam and Thampanoor is less that Rs 4,000. We have recommended a change of route through Inchakkal, Veli, Kazhakoottam, Kesavadasapuram and Thampanoor where bus services are less and population is high. However, people’s representatives, without considering the situation, force us to run services in unprofitable routes,” the official added. V S Sivakumar, who was transport minister when the Rajadhani service was launched, told TOI that he would look into the issue.
Source: Times Of India