Brand new buses to popular tourist destinations in and around Mysore, including the famous Chamundi Hills, the temple town of Nanjangud and Brindavan Gardens near Srirangapatna, were introduced by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to encourage tourists to use public transport and overcome competition from private bus operators.

A total of 75 buses with Euro-III emission standards were sanctioned for intra-city operations.

Out of the 75, 30 buses were added to the KSRTC fleet here recently. These buses were painted a distinct green as a measure to draw commuters’ attention, and the buses had been running between Mysore and tourist destinations.

KSRTC Divisional Controller (Mysore urban division) Ganganna Gowda told The Hindu that a few old buses running to the tourist spots were withdrawn and the brand new ‘green’ buses were introduced in their place.

“The new buses have helped us in giving good competition to private bus operators, especially on the Krishnaraja Sagar-Brindavan Garden route,” he said.

Mr. Gowda said 45 more buses of Euro-III emission standards were expected to reach here by next month and more schedules and trips would be introduced to tourist destinations, if necessary, and other routes after they were added to the fleet. “We are focussing on attracting people to public transport and the new semi low-floor buses have come in handy for this purpose,” he said. Mr. Gowda added, “some commuters switched over to the KSRTC buses on the KRS and Brindavan Garden routes. Three new schedules were introduced to KRS on getting the new buses and more trips would be introduced if necessary, in later stages.”

Approval

Expressing happiness over the approval by the JNNURM State-level Steering Committee to the proposal to procure 500 buses for strengthening public transport in Mysore, Mr. Gowda said the new buses would improve intra-city operations. Also, all old buses would be replaced with the new ones.

The KSRTC official, however, said he was unaware of how many buses the Mysore urban division would get, but expressed confidence that a substantial number would be allotted for intra-city operations. The Mysore KSRTC division has a fleet of 450 buses, including 45 Volvo buses and 41 Tata Marco Polo buses. Nearly 200 buses were added to the fleet in the first phase of JNNURM three years ago, and the corporation operates around 6,000 trips a day. Mr. Gowda said plans were afoot to increase the number of schedules to suit the needs of commuters living in residential townships on the outskirts of the city, as the demand for public transport is rising due to Mysore’s rapid horizontal growth.

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