Correspondent

VIZIANAGARAM: Similar to the railway enquiry facility, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has tied up with the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to introduce a unique telephone number – 12666 – for enquiries and ticket availability anywhere in the State.

Passengers should dial the STD code number for receiving information from depots in other mandals and districts, said B. Bhuvaneswara Prasad, Regional Manager (North-East region) of the corporation.

At a press conference on Saturday, Mr. Prasad said the objective was to make available various facilities on the doorstep of passengers. For the same reason, online passenger reservation system (OPRS) would be introduced in a week in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in the next fortnight. Reservations and cancellations could be done from anywhere in the State under the OPRS. He said that the facility was presently available in 47 bus stations in the State and it would be extended gradually to other stations.

Long-distance services

Saying that customer focus fortnight began on March 16 with an aim to explain about the services offered to passengers, Mr. Prasad said that 20 to 30 hire buses out of the 77 new ones sanctioned would become operational from next month. As there was no shortage of staff, the corporation would operate long distance services such as Kakinada, Bhadrachalam and Hyderabad from here.

He said that the occupancy ratio stood at 75. In spite of that, the region incurred Rs.6.70 crores loss till February-end last year and it was brought down to Rs.6.15 crores during the corresponding period this year. He said that the response to CAT cards and Jubilee schemes was encouraging if the targets achieved were any indication.