The six new air-conditioned premium buses of the KSRTC which began operating in the city from Monday recorded good collections, despite acute traffic snarls in different parts of the city from morning.

Two of them operate in the Poothotta-Aluva route through Menaka, two in the Fort Kochi-Infopark-Aluva route through MG Road and the other two in the Wellingdon Island-Infopark-Aluva route through MG Road. Instructions have been issued to stop the buses at all bus stops or on request, so that commuters benefit from the services.

Commuters can travel up to 5 kms by paying the minimum fare of Rs. 10 and travel each additional km for Rs.1.50. The buses would get enhanced patronage once colleges and other educational institutions reopen after summer vacation.

Aimed at boosting the daily collection of the buses and the seven already in operation, the KSRTC would install flex boards at prominent junctions detailing the list of stops and the time schedule, said Sharaf Mohammed, the RTC's Chief Traffic Officer and special officer for the agency's Volvo buses.

The average earnings per km of each bus in Kochi has risen to Rs .36, up from Rs. 30 till around three months ago. “We expect to increase it to at least Rs. 40, since the average expenditure per km rose to Rs. 50 following the hike in price of diesel. The earnings in Thiruvananthapuram is a little above Rs. 30 per km,” Mr Mohammed said.

Interestingly, collection falls in Kochi during Sundays, whereas it is the maximum in Thiruvananthapuram on Sundays and weekends, when families on an outing utilize the services.

Kochi would get a total of 50 AC, 120 non-AC low-floor and 30 mini-buses under the JNNURM scheme, while Thiruvananthapuram would get a total of 30 AC and 120 non-AC low-floor buses.

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