Ticketless bus service hands public & TSRTC a raw deal

As all workers managing counters are on strike, RTC decided not to issue tickets; now, no way to know how much money came in

Published: 07th October 2019 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th October 2019 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

TSRTC buses parked at the Barkatpura bus depot as the state-wide strike of RTC employees entered its third day in Hyderabad on Sunday

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Not only are the RTC authorities paying a heavy price by recruiting private drivers and conductors to run their buses during the ongoing state-wide strike, the policy-level decision to not issue tickets is bound to further hurt their earnings.

The decision to not issue tickets in RTC buses run by private drivers and conductors was taken considering depot managers, who are the only people manning operations from the centers, were also on strike. It has been learnt that the supervisors who manage the ticket machines are also on strike.

Without a ticket, there is no way for the RTC to know how much earnings have actually come in. Also, there is no way for the commuters to know if the drivers and conductors are asking proper rates.

On the second day of the strike, several commuters complained that despite travelling in RTC buses, they have had to pay double the rates.  

“The RTC can not ascertain the actual earnings. We have given them fare charts to follow but we can’t ascertain how much is actually being collected. We know they are outsiders, and so they may not remit the actual sum collected,” said a senior RTC official.

Another official added that in spite of being aware of the extra fares being charged on several routes, they were incapable of controlling the menace as they had no inspection squads with them. Officials further stated that they are yet to ascertain the earnings from the first day of the strike, and the expenses incurred by hiring drivers.

However, in regions under GHMC, with 114 buses run by various depots, the total earnings were estimated to be around Rs 4.41 lakh and expense on drivers and conductors was nearly Rs 2.86 lakh. Officials said the fuel and operational expenses will offset the profit margins.

On their end, the depot managers are setting basic targets to be achieved by each driver on a particular route, in order to ensure a basic minimum income.

“For inter-district buses, since passengers are alighting from the same stop, we are collecting the remittance in advance, to avoid discrepancies,” added an official.

Another official explained that the main objective is providing transport to people, which is being achieved by doing the same.

‘Action against operators will only hurt public’
Hyderabad: The Rachakonda traffic police on Sunday held up placards, continuing their appeals to private operators not to charge extra money from the commuters. “As traffic police, we can only appeal. The civil police are authorised to take action on them. Many bus operators are collecting the charges after exiting the city limits.  Meanwhile, the transport department has also reserved itself to training the drivers and is not taking up any checks or booking cases against private operators, as is routine in this season. “Taking stern action against the operators will only cause inconvenience to the public. So we aren’t doing it,” Pandurang Naik, joint transport commissioner told Express

Private drivers being forced, cheated by rtc?
Hyderabad: In what could dent attempts of the government to hire private bus drivers, videos of private drivers and conductors surfaced Sunday, claiming that they were given only half the sum by RTC. In one such video, a conductor can be seen claiming that his Class X certificate was held back by the depot managers after he refused to work due to poor pay. In another video of a contractual driver for Vemulawada to Korutla bus, he said that he was asked to achieve a target of `8,000 in three trips. He managed to make `6,000 but in two trips. Owing to this, the RTC officials cut his salary from `1,500 to `800 and deducted the lunch amount. However,  RTC has denied all claims

Workers take to demonstrations as  effect of strike wears off due to weekend
On the second day of the strike, when the effect was negligible due to the weekend, RTC unions held various demonstrations in Hyderabad and across the state in Karimnagar, Khammam, Siddipet, Medak, Zahirabad, Sangareddy and Kothagudem districts. In Karimnagar, women conductors expressed their resentment by Bathukamma songs, in which they criticised the government. In Khammam and Kothagudem, the women JAC leaders of local RTC unions played Bathukamma outside their respective bus depot premises. In Sangareddy, the RTC employees held a protest rally from RTC bus depot to the guest house and also played Bathukamma near Martyrs’ memorial. Workers at BHEL RTC Bus Stand tied black bands to their knees in protest

Pvt drivers help resume 51% of RTC services
Hyderabad: The public transport connectivity, even at the cost of fleecing private players, improved on the second day of strike. The government wings — RTA, Collector, TSRTC, collectively — put 11,000 vehicles on the roads, said an official press release. Of the 11,000, 3,327 were RTC buses, 2,032 private hire buses, contributing to 51.23 per cent of RTC transport. Furthermore, over 6,000 buses came from private contractors, schools & maxi cabs

Despite strike, railway sees little increase in revenue
Mahbubnagar: The Railway Department had expected more revenue collection over the weekend due to the strike. But contrary to expectations, the denizens seemed to prefer private transportation to the railways. The department could hardly gain an additional 20 per cent returns in ticket collection. According to sources, Mahbubnagar railway department, that makes a daily collection of `1.5 lakh earned no more than `1.8-`2 lakh this week

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