The Mangalore division of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation will be introducing Volvo buses between Manipal in Udupi district and Kasaragod in Kerala in about 10 days. They will operate via State Bank of India bus-stand here. The exact date of its launching will be announced soon, according to KSRTC sources.
A large number of people from Kasaragod and surrounding areas commute to Mangalore and Manipal, which have emerged as major medical and educational destinations for people in the northern parts of Kerala.
The KSRTC sources said, the ground work for the introduction of this service had begun quite some time ago. The Karnataka State Road Transport Authority, Bangalore, had given the necessary permits to operate Volvo buses on the proposed route. There was no need to obtain permit from the Regional Transport Authority, headed by the Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner, the sources said. The bus service would be operated under the inter-State agreement between Karnataka and Kerala. Although the agreement did not specifically provide for introduction of Volvo bus services, it had been left for the respective transport corporations to choose the type of service on the routes identified, sources said.
The Mangalore division of KSRTC is now operating 84 one-way trips with ordinary buses between Mangalore and Kasaragod for the last one year, which had considerably brought down the number of private buses plying on this route. The State-run bus services — Kerala also operates many ordinary buses on the route — are said to be well patronised. The KSRTC sources said that the service proved to be lucrative for the division.
The distance between Kasaragod and Manipal is about 120 km and the journey time around three hours. The fares are yet to be worked out. The services will be offered from morning till late evening. Six buses meant for this service have already arrived here, according to sources .
The sources said the Mangalore division would soon be introducing a Volvo bus service between Mangalore and Puttur on an experimental basis. If patronised well, regular Volvo buses might be introduced later. The division operates 120 one-way trips between the two destinations.
Meanwhile, the sources said that Volvo buses, introduced between Manipal and Mnaglaore on Saturday, are becoming increasingly popular.
While the first day's revenue, with four buses in operation, was Rs. 41,929, it had gone up to Rs. 56,767 on Sunday, and Rs. 61,766 on Monday with six buses and Rs. 75,794 on Tuesday. The operating cost of the service is being calculated, according to sources.