APSRTC and private operators wooing long-distance passengers

Comfort is paramount today when one makes travel plans. People don’t mind shelling out an extra buck to buy comfort and luxury while they are on the move to reach their destination.

Cashing in on this weakness of the modern-day traveller, Railway authorities target potential air travellers through enhanced features introduced for rail passengers.

The A.P. State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and private bus operators, meanwhile, are doing all they can to woo potential railway passengers of long-distance, offering more comfort and convenience in their luxury Volvo bus services.

The APSRTC, Vijayawada region, will introduce four additional Hyderabad-bound Garuda services, tentatively on Friday (February 15). With this, the total number of high-end air-conditioned vehicles in the RTC fleet in the region will touch 45.

“Of the four new Volvo buses, one will ply to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad and the other three to KPHB Colony,” corporation’s Regional Manager Gopinadh Reddy told The Hindu on Tuesday. The RTC runs Garuda services using vehicles of different makes — Volvo, Volvo Multi-Axle, Mercedes Benz Multi-Axle, Isuzu, Cerita, and Indra.

Hyderabad continues to be a major draw for travellers from this city. Of the total number of Garuda services in the RTC fleet, eight are Bangalore-bound, two to Chennai, and the remaining operate on Vijayawada-Hyderabad route.

There has been no dearth of patronage for these luxury buses which offer utmost comfort while travelling. The RTC has also increased the number of Vennela services, the air-conditioned sleeper service to Hyderabad, by adding two more to the existing one.

With the niche passenger segment opting for Volvo services, the luxury services of both RTC and private operators are yielding higher rate of profit as compared with their normal, high-tech services.

The special features of these buses, which are spacious and fitted with latest Carrier Generation-make air-conditioning system that enhances the comfort level while full air suspension, ensure superior safety of passengers.

Equipped with ergonomically designed reclining passenger seats, the vehicles have pleasing interiors and night lamps. Besides provision of ample luggage space, they are also aesthetically designed.

“To keep pace with the changing taste of our clients, we keep introducing at least 10-15 new model buses in our fleet every year. There is enough patronage to these luxury services, especially on the Hyderabad route,” says Chalasani Ramesh of Sree Kaleswari Travels.

His fleet of buses include 60 Volvo, four Mercedes Benz, and 40-odd other types of buses.

Interestingly, despite entry of new players in the local transport market, nobody seems to be complaining as every company apparently gets its pound of flesh.