Concern over poor patronage for KSRTC buses

Transport agency displays apathy at different levels in organisation: activist

Even as the number of services operated by KSRTC has fallen in the wake of the pandemic situation, many of the buses that operate in the district are not getting patronage for even half of their seating capacity.

This has resulted in passengers and NGOs drawing a comparison with the much better patronage for private buses in different routes.

T.N. Pratapan, general convenor of the city-based Janakeeya Anweshana Samithi, narrated his travel in a Muvattupuzha-bound KSRTC bus a few days ago, in which the bus travelled all the way from the Ernakulam bus stand to Palarivattom with just two passengers. “Another passenger boarded the bus from Palarivattom, up to Kakkanad. There was yet another occasion about three months ago, when I was the sole passenger in a low-floor AC bus of the agency from the international airport up to Vyttila – a distance of over 25 km. How on earth will the agency lessen its loss, leave alone make profit," he wondered.

He asked why the agency had not readied time charts at the local level in a scientific manner, in keeping with demand in different routes and published it online or at least displayed them in bus stands and stops. Less said the better about its enquiry system, since landlines are almost always busy or unavailable. All this points to apathy at different levels in the agency, Mr. Pratapan said.

While admitting that installing/activating GPS in KSRTC buses (which would help passengers know the real-time location of buses) is long overdue, KSRTC sources said the patronage for many buses during off-peak hours was far from adequate.

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