THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: KSRTC’s decision to reorganize services, which include the trimming of schedules, is mainly affecting the rural population, especially in certain routes where the corporation operates only single trips. In fact, this has affected the passenger flow. During the past three months, there has been a dip in passengers from 34 lakh to about 27 lakh.
Three months ago, the KSRTC management decided to manage its financial crisis, by rescheduling services depending on passengers’ rush. More buses were scheduled during the day time, when the number of passengers is maximum, than the second half of the day. The flip side of this method was that it has affected the passengers, though fuel expenses came down.
“Earlier, if we have missed a bus, we only had to wait for ten minutes for the next one. But now due to the shortage of schedules, we have to wait for 30 to 40 minutes for the next bus, which will be fully packed with passengers,” said a commuter who waited for a bus for 30 minutes at the museum bus stand.
“Previously, the KSRTC owned 6200 buses and operated 5400 schedules. The Sushil Khanna report recommended to increase the current schedule to 6000. According to the report, a transport corporation can be financially stable only if it makes maximum use of its fleet of buses and manpower. But, now the management has reduced the schedules to around 4800,” said M G Rahul, AITUC general secretary.
“To save the corporation, the CMD’s policy was to ‘first destroy and then construct,’ though he had destroyed the schedules.
“But there have not been any constructive results due to this destruction,” he added.
As per the collection figures, an average of about 27 lakh passengers travelled this month. The maximum number of passengers was recorded on January 7, the day when, according to the KSRTC management, it collected around 8 crore. In the following days, the average collection was around 6.5 lakh. Last year, the highest recorded collection was in May (207.35 crore), which was followed by 205.9 crore in December. The average collection during the rest of the months was around 180 crore.
In some of the routes in rural areas in the capital city, such as Beemapally, Maruthoorkadavu, Venjaramoodu, Mannamkuzhy, Karikkakom temple, Thrippadapuram and Oruvathilkotta, there is only one trip or no trips at all. Corporation officials, however, claim that trip cancellation has not caused any inconvenience to the passengers.“Earlier, there were two trips in these routes, but now not even a single KSRTC bus is operating. There are no private bus services here. So the only option we residents have here is to depend on overcharging auto rickshaws,” said Abdul Kalam, a resident of Thrippadapuram.
During the past three months, there has been a dip in passengers from 34 lakh to about 27 lakh
Previously, the KSRTC operated 5,400 schedules. Now it is reduced to around 4,800 schedules