VIJAYAWADA: In an effort to bring the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) out of red, officials have decided to introduce 1,500 mini bus services to increase the occupancy rate in rural and semi urban areas of the State.
According to the RTC officials, the corporation has around 12,000 buses and of which 5,574 buses are operating as ‘Palle Velugu’ services connecting 14,123 villages.
The occupancy rate (OR) of these buses stood at 75 per cent and they are covering 18 lakh km a day. There are many complaints that these buses have less occupancy rate and were incurring huge losses to the corporation. The cost of operation of each bus on an average is `38 per km. But the revenue earned on each bus per km is `33, resulting in a loss of `5 per km. To overcome the revenue loss, the RTC management has taken a decision to replace the ‘Palle Velugu’ buses with mini buses on rural routes.
Moreover, several legislators during the recent Assembly session demanded that the RTC operate more services connecting rural areas with urban locations. In this regard, the government has sanctioned `200 crore for purchasing 1,500 mini buses and operate them across the State.
“The management has expedited the tender process. Instructions were given to the officials of the operations department to prepare a comprehensive route map and operate mini buses in remote areas where no bus services were present,” said a senior official of APSRTC on condition of anonymity. The buses would be used for customised tours also. If there is a group not less than 20 passengers, then any group can hire the buses to visit tourist places. The 22 or 33-seater mini buses can also come in handy for the RTC to tackle the low occupancy rate, he added.
12,000: The number of buses with APSRTC
5,574 buses are operating as ‘Palle Velugu’ services connecting
75%: Occupancy rate (OR) of the buses
L38 per km: Cost of operation of each bus on an average
L33: Revenue earned on each bus per km
L5: Loss per km