They are not permitted to issue tickets online, says Krishna DTC

Travelling by bus was never easier what with the string of comforts offered by private bus operators who make all out efforts to appease commuters.

The private transport sector has witnessed an increasing number of bus operators vying with one another to grab their share of commuters from the massive travelling crowd.

But how many of us are aware that we are violating norms when we travel by a private bus. The violation begins much earlier, at the point where we book our tickets online.

“As per rules, private bus operators are not permitted to issue tickets online as this is in violation of contract carriage permit sanctioned to them. Private bus operators cannot issue tickets to individual passengers as they are permitted to operate buses only in contracts for bulk bookings made by a single party for marriage or other such occasions,” said District Transport Commissioner (DTC), Krishna, Ch. Shivalingaiah, on Tuesday.

Documents seized

The local Transport Department authorities raided nearly 30 offices of private bus operators on Monday and Tuesday and seized documents for violation of the rule book.

The department also seized 175-odd buses in the last two months, mostly for permit-related violations. “Operators of around 100 vehicles have filed for ‘stoppages’ by surrendering the documents,” said Mr. Shivalingaiah. “Since 95 per cent of the routes have been nationalised, only buses belonging to the AP State Road Transport Corporation are operating as stage carriages,” explained the DTC.

“We want commuters to know that not only the private operators are acting in breach of the rule by plying their vehicles as stage carriage but it is also unlawful on their (commuters) part to book tickets online with a private transport company which is illicitly operating vehicles,” said Mr. Shivalingaiah.

The department staff also intercepted and seized two such buses on Monday. The passengers inside were shifted to RTC buses and the buses were taken under the department control. The fact that the department had seized 375-odd private vehicles this year speaks volumes about large-scale violation of norms.

Increase in the frequency of raids notwithstanding, the operators are proportionately growing smarter by the day. “Of the hundreds of private buses that ply between Vijayawada city and several other destinations daily, only six of them were seen on city roads on Sunday and just two on Monday. This was because they got wind of the fact that our Motor Vehicle Inspectors were deployed everywhere,” said Mr. Shivalingaiah.

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