Regular commuters struggle to get into KSRTC buses from places adjoining Mangaluru

Hundreds of college students are among those affected as they jostle for space in KSRTC buses headed to Mangaluru

November 24, 2022 02:53 pm | Updated 03:44 pm IST - MANGALURU

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses to and from Mangaluru are packed during peak hours in the morning and evening, indicating the corporation’s inability to meet the demand for public transport services in the hinterlands of Dakshina Kannada district in coastal Karnataka.

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses to and from Mangaluru are packed during peak hours in the morning and evening, indicating the corporation’s inability to meet the demand for public transport services in the hinterlands of Dakshina Kannada district in coastal Karnataka. | Photo Credit: H.S. Manjunath

Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) as well as the student community from the hinterlands of Dakshina Kannada district are in a predicament as buses to and from Mangaluru run jam-packed during peak hours as the corporation is unable meet the demand for its services.

Students as well as regular commuters from Puttur, Vitla, Uppinangady, Belthangady, and other places, are facing difficulties travelling in KSRTC buses during morning and evening peak hours as the buses are packed from the starting point.

Shreekara, a student from Puttur enrolled in an engineering college in Mangaluru, said, “I would be fortunate if I could sneak into a KSRTC bus headed to State Bank in the morning hours. Same problem on the way back too,” he said. Though there is a service every 10 minutes to and from Puttur to State Bank, they are found to be insufficient during the peak hours, he said. The problem is worse for students and regular commuters from B.C. Road, as the buses are packed at the starting point.

KSRTC’s Puttur Divisional Controller Jayakar Shetty told The Hindu that trips have not been reduced. “The problem lies with all educational institutions starting at almost the same time resulting in students coming on the road simultaneously. Other than the morning and evening peak hours, there would be ample space in buses.”

In Puttur division, over 40,000 student bus passes are in place, about 10,000 of which were issued in September-October when engineering colleges reopened. Students too need to cooperate with the corporation by desisting from hanging on footboard or moving inside buses. Besides, with most of the crew hailing from north Karnataka, there were complaints of students teasing them, he said.

At present, there appears to be no solution to the problem as the corporation is starved of resources. Neither new buses are available nor fresh recruitment is taking place.

“Commuters from Uppinangady, Vitla, Belthangady, and surrounding places too face similar problems,” said Sukesh, a pharmacy student in Mangaluru. “In the morning, commuters cannot board buses towards Mangaluru after B.C. Road as they are jam-packed.”

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