VIJAYAWADA/VISAKHAPATNAM: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) resumed its city services in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam on Saturday, almost six months after a Covid-19 induced lockdown was first imposed.
On the first day, the RTC operated 127 buses in the Vijayawada region with reduced occupancy capacity due to the standard operating procedures in place in view of a pandemic. Only passengers wearing masks were allowed after examination of their health condition at bus stops.
The occupancy ratio was nominal, which could be due to lack of awareness about the resumption of city services, and it is expected to increase in the days to come. The buses ran from the PNBS terminal and other depots to Mahatma Gandhi Road, Ibrahimpatnam, Gannavaram, Gudivada, Mylavaram, Pamarru-Vuyyur, Hanuman Junction, Telaprolu, Auto Nagar, Government Press, Madhura Nagar and Kondapalli.
“In the absence of buses, I was forced to commute to my workplace at Auto Nagar in autorickshaws from Chitti Nagar Junction,” said B Durga Mounica, a private firm employee, and suggested that the number of services be increased in a phased manner. RTC deputy chief traffic manager G Satyanarayana said the number of bus services will be increased to 300 from 127 to facilitate the students writing ward and village secretariat examinations beginning Sunday.
In Vizag, the RTC operated around 100 buses in six routes on a trial basis on Saturday. RTC city traffic manager Sudha Bindu observed that passengers can board the buses only if they are wearing masks and using sanitiser. “No subsidies will be considered, and passengers are not allowed to stand and commute if all the seats are taken. Only 33 persons are allowed on a bus at a time,” she added. The buses were operated to Bheemili, Tagarapuvalasa, Gajuwaka, Anakapalle, Achyuthapuram, Sabbavaram, Pendurthi, Simhachalam and other areas. Bindu noted that 300 buses will be run for candidates of the village secretariat exams till September 26.