A.K. Khan says electronic display boards will be put up at bus stations

The AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) will soon introduce Intelligence Transport System (ITS) to improve punctuality of buses and thereby provide better services to passengers, according to APSRTC Vice- Chairman and Managing Director A.K. Khan.

The vehicle tracking system would not only improve punctuality but also inculcate discipline among the employees of the corporation.

This apart, electronic display boards and real time passenger information system would be put up at bus stations to enable passengers to know the arrival time of their bus and use the waiting time effectively, Mr. Khan told a media conference here on Saturday.

This tracking system would be introduced on a pilot basis on 3,500 buses on the Hyderabad — Nellore, Hyderabad — Vijayawada and Hyderabad — Karimnagar routes.

It would be extended to other routes based on the success of the project. He said that 85 per cent of the buses were back on the roads after the Samaikyandhra strike in Seemandhra region. The remaining 15 per cent were still unfit for operations as they had to be serviced.

There were a total of 15,000 buses in Seemandhra region and Samaikyandhra agitation has resulted in a loss of Rs. 745.13 crore. The total loss of the corporation, which was Rs. 585 crore during 2011-12 was brought down to Rs. 81 crore during 2012-13.

Though the corporation had done well during the first four months of the current financial year, the strike during the last two months has dealt a severe blow.

Mr. Khan said that the target of the corporation was to procure 2,000 new buses this year but only 700 were procured so far. The frequent increase in diesel prices, cost of spare parts and increase in salaries of employees were causing a drain on the resources of the corporation.

The fares could not be increased proportionately as the RTC was a public service organisation.

“We are looking for alternative means to raise resources. We have plans to raise at least 10 per cent of the revenue through the assets of the corporation like bus stations. A study has been conducted and the available assets have been codified. This work has been hampered in Seemandhra due to the Samaikyandhra stir,” he said.

Bus service in towns

The RTC would introduce city buses in 18 smaller cities and towns all over the State.

The towns identified are: Vizianagaram, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, Eluru, Guntur, Nandyal, Ongole, Kadapa, Khammam, Anantapur, Mahabubnagar, Chittoor, Ramagundam, Warangal, Nellore, Kurnool, Nizamabad and Karimnagar. It was proposed to introduce 600 buses in these towns.

Answering queries, Mr. Khan said that a study would be conducted on the proposed restructuring of the RTC and a report would be submitted in 100 days. Based on the report, a decision on merger of the corporation with the government would be taken.

The Madhurawada Bus Depot would be opened in a month.

Executive Director (Vizianagaram Zone) A. Ramakrishna and Regional Manager (Visakhapatnam Region) Y. Jagadeesh Babu were present.