HYDERABAD: In the absence of rail connectivity to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), the transportation gap at present is being filled by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses and commercial taxis. The frequent flyers mostly preferred taxis over the TSRTC operated Pushpak service.
“I took an normal bus to the airport and that cost me just `51 for the ride. This bus does not enter the airport but stops just at a junction outside the RGIA. Only the TSRTC-operated Pushpak buses go inside the airport,” said Satish Bansal, an IT employee from Gachibowli.”But there is a free service every five minutes to the airport from the bus stop outside, and not many people are aware of this. It is the cheapest way to reach the airport,” he added.
The highest cost of a TSRTC Pushpak service to the airport is `265 compared to the `600 to `700 often charged by the taxi operators. Still, commuters prefer a taxi over the bus. “The buses are never on time due to the heavy traffic and they pick up passengers from across the city, so there is a fear that I may miss my flight,” said Sonal Sha, a data analyst who travels to Mumbai on official trips frequently. “The taxis are expensive but I can reach airport quickly,” she said.
With 34 scheduled Pushpak buses picking up passengers in a day from Chandrayanagutta, Aramghar, Pahadisharif, Shamshabad, Parayatakbhavan, AC Guards, Gachibowli, Allwyn X road, Chandanagar, Lingampalli, BHEL Township. The Pushpak service is one of the profitable services operated by TSRTC with a 75 per cent occupancy ratio. The occupancy ratio increased after TSRTC adopted Volvo buses in place of Marco Polo buses.
However, taxi drivers can often be spotted at TSRTC’s Pushpak bus stops pooling passengers, offering them discounted rates to airport. “It’s hot and I don’t want to wait for a bus,” said Suresh Ramalinganayak, who was on his way to Bengaluru. He was approached by a taxi driver who offered to take him to the airport for `200 with four others who were waiting with him at the Parayatak Bhavan on Friday.