Hyderabad: The expert committee which went to Bangalore to study commuters’ response to the air-conditioned city buses there, has completed its study and will submit its report to the APSRTC management here in a few days. The AP State Road Transport Corporation is operating 80 air-conditioned buses in Hyderabad and Secunderabad but is incurring losses due to poor occupancy of the buses.
The occupancy is 75 per cent in Bangalore and 45 per cent in Hyderabad. Because of the low occupancy, the APSRTC is incurring a loss of Rs 4,000 a day on each bus and a cumulative loss of Rs 3.20 lakh a day on all the 80 buses. The monthly loss is touching the Rs 1-crore mark which the organisation cannot bear. The corporation has already accumulated losses to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore.
RTC officials are unable to know why commuters in Hyderabad do not prefer AC buses though fares here are lower than in Bangalore. The AC bus fare in Hyderabad is Rs 1.25 per kilometre and in Bangalore it is Rs 2. The RTC management has sent three officers to Bangalore to study how AC buses are running in profits and why people prefer AC buses there. The team completed its study in three days and returned to Hyderabad and are finalising its report.
The AP State Road Transport Corporation is operating 80 air-conditioned buses in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
According to an officer, most of the software employees and others in highly-paid jobs, who depend on public transport, prefer to commute in AC buses in the Karnataka capital. Though this class of employees can afford own transport, long commuting distances, frequent traffic snarls and inadequate or even lack of parking space make them opt for public transport.
The other reason is the non-avaialbility of residential accommodation in the vicinity of Electronic City, the IT hub of Bangalore. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is operating as many as 500 air-conditioned buses, most of them to the Electronic City and the airport, in Bangalore.
The KSRTC provides monthly bus passes to commuters at Rs 3,000 a month. In contrast, the officer said, 60 percent people of Hyderabad’s total population depend on their own transport like cars and two-wheelers to commute between home and workplace. Because a majority of software professionals and others live not far from the IT hub, commuting by their own transport is neither cumbersome nor expensive for them. Hence the poor patronage for AC buses here. If AC buses are to run in profits here, it should have enticing schemes, he said.