This Dasara, tourists can conveniently shuttle between tourist destinations located in and around Mysore as the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is introducing ‘Hop on, hop off’ (HOHO) buses to cater exclusively to tourists.

It aims to reduce dependence on private transport, especially taxis, and promote public transport to decongest roads. The special bus service would cover 10 key tourist spots, such as Chamundi Hills, Mysore palace, the zoo, and similar sites. The HOHO buses will ply in a 40-km radius every 15 minutes daily from the city bus terminus here.

Final decision

KSRTC’s urban division is finalising the initiative as top officials from the corporation’s central office in Bangalore are coming here on September 19 for a meeting in this connection. Divisional Controller H.M. Ramesh told The Hindu that HOHO buses will allow tourists to visit places of interest at their convenience without having to wait for transportation, as these buses will continuously ply the identified circuit throughout the day.

They can visit any destination any number of times a day, by purchasing a tourist or circuit pass which will be released only for Dasara, he informed.

Steps are also being taken to sell these passes online, in addition to the sale of passes at bus terminuses. “The buses will keep plying the circuit covering all ten tourist spots at different intervals.

“Commuters will not need to wait overlong, as they can catch one of these buses every 15 minutes. Each bus will cover the circuit in one and a half hours,” Mr. Ramesh said.

Depending on the response, the frequency would be increased to one bus every 10 minutes. Out of the 10 HOHO buses, three will be Volvos.

There are plans to give them a distinct paintjob and name so that they can be identified easily by foreign tourists.

A decision on covering more tourist destinations under the HOHO service would be taken only after discussing the matter with higher officials during the September 19 meeting, Mr. Ramesh said.

On the promotion of HOHO buses, Mr. Ramesh said publicity of HOHO buses would be made at bus terminals, mainly at mofussil bus-stands where tourists arrive and also at the railway station.

KSRTC is not restricting HOHO services to Dasara. As tourist arrivals continue even after festivities conclude, because of the Dasara vacation, the buses would run for at least a month, he said.

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