'RTC had managed to strike a balance as it neither garnered profits nor incurred losses'

The pinch of sky-high prices of vehicle fuel is pushing considerable chunk of couch potatoes towards leading a healthy lifestyle.

The ever-rising petrol and diesel prices have brought a permanent frown on the common man’s face. People who had been dilly-dallying with plans to put their vehicles up for sale and embrace walking for short-distance travel and rely on public transport for long distances, have finally made up their minds. They are now firm on implementing the long-pending decision thanks to a steep hike in diesel price announced recently.

For all those who thought that hopping on a bus operated by the AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) would be the safest bet, here’s the bad news. The RTC higher-ups are busy doing their arithmetic to effect a bus fare hike very soon. Most of their energies are spent in trying to do a balancing act to ensure that neither the Corporation nor the commuter is over-burdened.

“A bus fare hike is inevitable in these circumstances. The RTC higher-ups are studying all pros and cons to work on a viable proposal which will be forwarded for the Centre’s approval,” K. Gopinatha Reddy, Regional Manager of the Corporation in Krishna region, told The Hindu on Sunday.

Referring to the APSRTC Managing Director A.K. Khan’s statement that the hike had imposed an additional burden of Rs.350 crore on the Corporation, Mr. Reddy said in Krishna region, the RTC would suffer a revenue loss of Rs.6 lakh per day.

“We were desperate to improve the occupancy ratio and enhance the revenue even before the recent hike. The fresh move is a hard blow to the Corporation,” he said.

He said that in Krishna region, the RTC had managed to strike a balance as it neither garnered profits nor incurred losses. But the hike will disturb the equilibrium, he rued.

Meanwhile, an additional Garuda Plus bus to Coimbatore has been inducted into the RTC fleet. This is in addition to another bus service to Jagdalpur in Chattisgarh besides plans to induct two new Indra buses which would travel towards Visakhapatnam.

“We have also introduced one service from Gudivada to Raichur and have plans to introduce one more bus from Vijayawada to Bhadrachalam,” he said.