The Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), which had been wearing a deserted look for the last two months, witnessed some passenger rush on Saturday with APSRTC employees in Seemandhra region calling off their strike and passengers heading to their respective hometowns from the capital.
The Jubilee Bus Station also witnessed steady flow of passengers with many heading towards northern Telangana districts. Though a few passenger and express trains were cancelled due to Cyclone Phailin, and a few being operated on diverted routes, railway stations were also teeming with passengers all day long.
It’s not just those heading to Seemandhra: even those travelling towards Bihar and Kolkata thronged the Secunderabad railway station to board trains to Howrah and other trains.
RTC authorities claimed that employees joined their duties on Saturday morning and over 100 buses from Vijayawada and Kurnool sector arrived at MGBS. This apart, over 100 buses from MGBS were also to different districts in Seemandhra for the convenience of passengers travelling to their hometowns this Dasara festival.
All the passengers, who were apprehensive about travelling to their hometowns, seemed to have made up their minds and thronged bus stations in the last minute after RTC employees had called off their strike. All the regular buses would be operated as per schedule and more buses would be operated depending on the demand, said Vinod Kumar, Regional Manager, RTC Ranga Reddy region.
Like all the previous years, private bus operators fleeced passengers this year too, as many had booked tickets in advance in view of the RTC employees’ strike. A ticket from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam on an AC bus, which usually costs about Rs. 900 went for Rs. 1,100. A similar ticket to Vijayawada, which costs about Rs.500 was being sold for Rs.700.
However, A.P. Private Bus Operators Association honorary president H.S.C Bose claimed that operators were collecting extra fare only to offset poor occupancy on return trips.