RTC incurs a loss of Rs. 30 lakh in 45 days
It’s just one and a half months. The authorities have made a major deviation in the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor route on the plea that the RTC is making losses.
Deviating from the original plan of circular route—city terminus to city terminus covering Bandar and Eluru roads, the authorities have extended the BRTS busses up to Kankipadu snapping the services on Bandar Road. The BRTS buses will ply from city terminus to Kankipadu and vice versa. So, the BRTS buses will not ply on the stretch between Benz Circle and city terminus.
Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) officials, when toyed with the idea of BRTS project, designed the circular route (in phase-I) of 15.5 km to discourage private vehicles on Bandar and Eluru roads, two main roads in the city; ease traffic congestion and snarl on these busy roads, and provide connectivity to commercial areas like Besant Road.
After plying the buses for 45 days, the APSRTC officials have calculated that they incurred a loss of Rs. 30 lakh by plying eight buses. The EPM (earnings per kilometre) was mere Rs. 16 during the 45 days. The occupancy also did not cross 50 per cent.
Placing the issue before the committee chaired by the District Collector, the RTC officials said that the route was not viable and would leave the RTC with bleeding losses.
To come out of the red, they suggested extending the route up to Kankipadu instead of plying in a circular route. Subsequently, the committee has approved their proposal.
When contacted, APSRTC Vijayawada Zone Executive Director M. S. Prakasa Rao said that EPM improved to Rs. 18 in last two days, and would touch Rs. 20 shortly. The patronage of BRTS buses from Kankipadu to Railway station was encouraging. It was expected to touch Rs. 25 in due course, he said.
The BRTS corridor originates at the city terminus/police control room and covers railway station, C.K. Reddy Road, Satyanarayanapuram, Machavaram, Ramavarappadu ring road, NTR Health University, Benz Circle, the Mahatma Gandhi Road and finally terminates terminus.