Private bus operators not keen on route number display

Long way to go: Very few private buses in Kozhikode display route numbers on the destination boards of buses .

Long way to go: Very few private buses in Kozhikode display route numbers on the destination boards of buses .  

Passengers comfortable with the existing destination boards, they say

The process of numbering bus routes in the district and displaying route numbers on the destination boards of buses have lost steam, thanks to non-cooperation by a group of private bus operators.

Though several bus routes were allotted numbers by the district administration with technical support from the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD), the operators have apparently failed to see its utility side.

Moreover, the lack of follow-up measures has resulted in the fading away of numbers.

The Unique Numbering System for Bus Routes (UNSBS), which was successfully implemented in Kannur and turned out to be of immense help to bus passengers, was treated as an “unwanted recommendation” in Kozhikode.

Bus operators claimed that passengers were not much dependent on route numbers, and that they were comfortable with the existing destination boards.

A section of private bus operators alleged that the real agenda behind the numbering system remained hidden, and that a private group that had expressed interest in executing the project had plans to cash in on the business side of the concept at a later stage. An office-bearer of Pantheerankavu Bus Operators’ Association said that operators in the city had discarded the idea as the private company associated with the project had the business of distributing ticketing machines in large quantity.

It had even planned the supply of a single machine at a cost of ₹15,000 to around 1,700 buses in Kozhikode district after the numbering system when the actual price of the product was just ₹3,000, he claimed. Though private bus operators turned down the proposal on finding that it was a tricky trade, the Kerala State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) authorities made it clear that they would implement the system as planned by the district administration two years ago. It will be considered first in inter-district services, they said.An official attached to the District Transport Office said that the KSRTC had recently completed allocation of route codes, and that they would be gradually displayed on the destination boards of buses. Some buses have already got the route numbers on the destination boards, he added.

Meanwhile, MVD sources said that the department could not execute the project as it was earlier introduced as a voluntary initiative to replace the conventional destination boards that had troubled non-Kerala travellers and migrant workers. Furthermore, the transfer of a former Collector who initiated the project under the ‘Savarigirigiri’ scheme for student travellers too affected its effective implementation, they said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 2:45:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/private-bus-operators-not-keen-on-route-number-display/article22399536.ece

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