Here’s good news for those going on short trips to Srikakulam, Viziangaram, Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram or other cities and towns by RTC buses at short notice. They need no longer be worried about getting a seat as the RTC has extended online reservation facility at a nominal reservation fee of ₹5 on these services.
What’s more? Those residing in far-flung areas of the city like Gajuwaka, Madhurawada, NAD Kotha Road and Simhachalam can log on to the APSRTC website and know about the vacancy position on the next available bus to their destination and book their ticket. They can specify their place of boarding and alighting points to save time and money in shuttling to the main bus station in the city.
“To start with we have introduced this facility in 40 services like Srikakulam, and Ichchapuram. While the online reservation fee on long distance buses is ₹20, we felt it will be a pinch on the pocket of short-distance passengers, and after taking the permission of higher officials, we have fixed it at a nominal ₹5,” District Public Transportation Officer A. Appala Raju told The Hindu.
Almost every traveller has a mobile phone and they can check the seat availability on the next available bus and avoid getting into a bus, which is already full. The passengers, who have already reached the bus station, need not even go to the enquiry counter and check the availability. They can relax and check the status on their mobile phone.
Bus bays at Gajuwaka
RTC owns about 70 cents of land adjacent to Lanka Grounds at Gajuwaka. “We have already set up a logistics point and commenced construction of two platforms for the convenience of passengers, who now have to wait at bus shelters, scattered beside the National Highway, and face the danger of missing their bus in the traffic chaos,” says Mr. Appala Raju.
The Visakhapatnam Region will soon get 42 hire buses, including 25 city services. There are 550 city buses and each makes 5 to 10 trips a day. “We are yet to get the pre-COVID occupancy in the city services. This is because the pandemic had led to a steep increase in the use of personal vehicles and decreased patronage of public transport. We have recently introduced route no. 311, which provides direct connection from Duvvada Railway Station to Sabbavaram, Chodavaram and Madugula.,” Mr. Appala Raju said.