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APSRTC mulls 26-seater buses post COVID-19 lockdown

A blueprint of the prototype has been sent to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the RTC is awaiting his nod to go ahead with the project.

Published: 12th May 2020 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2020 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

The prototype of a 26-seater bus designed by the APSRTC (Photo | Prasant Madugula, EPS)

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has designed a bus prototype with seats arranged in a way that physical distancing can be followed by passengers during their journey post lockdown.

A blueprint of the prototype has been sent to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and the RTC is awaiting his nod to go ahead with the project.

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari recently stated that bus services may resume soon in the country.

Hence, the RTC is contemplating operating the passenger services by making necessary modifications in buses with the provision for social distancing.

As part of the initiative, RTC officials in Vijayawada have designed a 26-seater bus with three row seating using a 36-seater super luxury vehicle to ensure social distancing among the passengers.

Steps are also being taken to encourage cashless transaction with emphasis on online ticket booking as the seat can be reserved one week from the date of journey, official source said.

The RTC, which suspended operation of all passenger services on March 25 as a precautionary measure to contain spread of Covid-19 in the State, it yet to take a decision on resumption of bus services from May 18 after the end of lockdown, a senior official told TNIE on the condition of anonymity. 

“However, as part of our preparedness to resume passenger services, the RTC has developed a prototype with seats arranged in a way that physical distancing is ensured among travellers.” He added more number will be turned into 26-seater ones vehicles after the Chief Minister’s nod.

Explaining the modifications done in the super luxury bus, he said: “The seating capacity of the vehicle has been reduced to 26 from 36, which means that the passenger occupancy ratio will be around 70 per cent. About 100 super luxury buses can be converted into 26-seater vehicles by May 18 with all the major bus depots in four operational regions of RTC in the State having workshop facility if the Chief Minister approves the prototype.”At present, the RTC has modified some buses to transport cargo.A proposal to hire 10 lorries by each RTC bus depot to expand the cargo services is also under consideration, the official said.

100 buses can be converted by May 18

The seating capacity of the prototype has been reduced to 26 from 36, which means that the passenger occupancy ratio will be around 70 per cent. About 100 super luxury buses can be converted into 26-seater vehicles by May 18, said an official

No move to hike RTC fare: Perni

Transport Minister Perni Venkataramaiah on Monday denied speculations of RTC bus fare hike post lockdown. He warned that stern action will be taken against those circulating baseless rumours on RTC ticket fare hike on social media platforms. Passenger bus services will be resumed in the State only after getting nod from the Centre and by following the guidelines prescribed by the Union Ministry for Transport, he added.



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