Long-distance passengers can look forward to travelling in increased comfort with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) deciding to purchase 10 state-of-the-art Volvo multi-axle buses.

A decision to purchase the buses, each costing Rs.1 crore, was taken at a board meeting of the KSRTC in the capital on Wednesday, highly placed sources told The Hindu.

Since the crisis-hit public transport utility needs a whopping Rs.10 crore for purchasing 10 buses, the modalities of sourcing the funds have to be worked out.

The KSRTC will operate nine Volvo buses on inter-State routes and keep the remaining one as spare. The destinations are yet to be identified, sources said.

Three Volvo buses of the KSRTC plying in the Thiruvananthapuram-Bangalore and Thiruvananthapuram-Ernakulam sectors since December 17, 2008 have to be phased out. The buses, operated under the brand name Garuda, were bought for Rs.70 lakh each five years ago.

Multi-axle buses, compared with conventional-axle buses, enhance the comfort level of long-distance travel and passengers would not feel any jerks. Unlike the ordinary Volvo bus that has a seating capacity of 44, the multi-axle Volvo buses can accommodate 47 persons since its chassis is long. The buses have large seats and more leg space.

With the 10 Volvo buses joining the fleet, luxury travel will become the KSRTC’s buzzword, as the transport utility has shown that it can be world class in terms of comfort and hospitality with trained bus crew.

The general idea is to give private operators a run for their money and end their monopoly in the Chennai and Bangalore sectors. The luxury services are in demand among long-distance travellers. Tourists going from one destination to another also prefer Volvo buses.

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