Mysore will get air-conditioned, vestibule and low-floor buses for expanding the public transport network under the JNNURM

Come March, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will get a shot in the arm: 125 new buses of all types, to strengthen its existing fleet and improve intra-city bus operations that are in need of immediate attention, considering the increase in the city’s breadth and the demand for affordable public transport.

Thanks to the extension of the Centre’s flagship programme — the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM) — to 2014, Mysore, one of the cities marked under the mission in the State, will get air-conditioned, vestibule and low-floor buses for expanding the public transport network here.

Mysore urban KSRTC Divisional Controller Ramesh told The Hindu that Mysore was allotted 125 buses under the JnNURM. The buses are expected to reach Mysore in March. “This will support our initiatives to improve operations and provide better services to commuters,” he said.

This new batch will include 20 Volvo buses and eight vestibule buses; the remainder will be BS-III (low-floor) buses. They will join the existing fleet of 465 buses. About 75 buses were added to the fleet recently.

The corporation procured these buses using its own resources.

KSRTC’s Mysore fleet includes 45 Volvo buses and 41 Tata Marcopolo buses. As many as 200 buses were added in the first phase of JnNURM three years ago.

“We operate about 6,500 trips daily. In fact, the trips have gone up after Dasara last year with the launch of new services to tourist destinations – the Hop on, Hop off services. The new buses under JnNURM will help us to expand our network, covering new residential localities on the outskirts with more frequency,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Thanks to the growing demand for public transport arising from Mysore’s horizontal growth, plans are afoot to upscale the number of schedules to suit the needs of commuters living in residential townships on the outskirts of the city.

One such plan is establishing connectivity between different stretches of the Outer Ring Road (ORR), along which many new localities have come up.

Mr. Ramesh said the corporation has proposed to operate buses exclusively on the ORR so that commuters who alight at ORR junctions can reach their destinations without coming to the city at all. “This avoids traffic congestion besides giving faster and comfortable connectivity to the people,” he explained.

As a first step, services between the ORR junction on the Mysore-Nanjangud Road to the one on the Bangalore-Mysore State Highway near Columbia Asia Hospital will be launched shortly, he disclosed.

“We are confident that it will benefit commuters. On seeing the response, similar operations will be introduced from other ORR junctions,” the KSRTC official said.

Bus services in Mysore were brought under the Mysore Intelligent Transport system (Mitra) in November, 2012. The system gives the arrival time of buses on intra-city routes, reducing the waiting time of commuters at bus-stands.

KSRTC has also adopted a planning and scheduling solution for its intra-city operations to improve operational efficiency and ensure commuter satisfaction.

The initiative focuses on fleet management and the preparation of a “realistic” timetable based on passenger load factor. Mysore is the first city in the country to adopt such a solution for optimising services keeping in view the requirements of passengers. It was introduced on select routes on a trial basis.

More In: Karnataka | National