APSRTC among best transport systems in country
Lack of drivers major hurdle for taking up new initiatives
HYDERABAD: Monitoring the work of nearly 6,000 drivers and 8,000 conductors spread across 21 bus depots in the city is no mean task and yet the city region of the APSRTC is considered one of the best public transport systems in the country.
Despite criticism from all quarters and limited resources available with us, our emphasis has always been on service the satisfaction of commuters, says RTC City Regional Manager C. Pandu Ranga Murthy.
City Region as on date has a fleet of 2,890 buses when compared to Bangalore (3,997), Mumbai (3,991), Delhi (3,467) and Chennai (2,778). Yet it records the best vehicle utilisation (in terms of operation) of 260 km per day against Delhi (179 km) and Mumbai (190 km).
Commuters often complain about drivers stopping buses way head of stops or even skipping the stages but if one looks at it from our point, things will be different.
For the 2,500 odd bus shelters, there are only 30 bus bays in the city and even at these bus bays, it is either auto-rickshaws or other services that occupy the space meant for RTC buses, forcing the drivers to stop buses behind or ahead of the stages.
And above all, with a vehicular density of 2,337 per km in the city, RTC drivers achieve 4.98 km per litre (kmpl), which is considered the best compared to the vehicular density's of other metros like Delhi, which has 184 vehicles per km, Mumbai 448 per km and Kolkata 345 per km, says Mr. Murthy.
On the plan to introduce night services and augmentation of services, Mr. Murthy says, "More than augmenting services, we are ending up with substituting the withdrawn hire services. Last year, 200 and odd hire buses withdrew services quoting economic reasons. Lack of drivers is turning into a major hurdle in taking up new initiatives".
They are given good pay scales in the private sectors and then there is no job guarantee for them here, they are recruited on contract system, he added.
Providing best services in terms of seats and quality of buses, the city region is way ahead of other metros. "No other city offers the best value for money of commuters. We are offering stage announcements, FM Radio, route maps in the buses to make it a stress-free journey," says Mr. Murthy.