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.
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