Kerala

Amid stir, KSRTC launches electric city circular bus service

Transport Minister Antony Raju flagging off the new electric buses of KSRTC Swift, in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Transport Minister Antony Raju flagging off the new electric buses of KSRTC Swift, in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.

Amid the protests of employees unions, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) launched 24-hour city circular bus service linking airport and railway stations in the city with KSRTC bus terminal at Thampanoor.

This is for the first time in the history of city circular bus services that the KSRTC has introduced electric buses in the capital.

The opening function met with stiff resistance from the employees unions, with the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)-affiliated employees union blocking the attempt to start bus services from East Fort depot, while the employees under the banner of Transport Democratic Federation (TDF) stormed into the opening function organised at Thampanoor central station.

However, the air-rail circular service, the 8th circular service of the KSRTC using electric buses, was flagged off by Minister of Transport Antony Raju. The air-rail circular service runs clockwise and anti-clockwise services from Thampanoor Bus Station and Central Railway Station to the domestic (T1) and international (T2) terminals of the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

In the first phase, one bus will run every half an hour and reach these two terminals from Thampanoor. Free Wi-Fi, mobile charging points, security cameras and luggage storage facilities are also available in these buses. The night services will be operated to the international terminal only.

There would be booking counters for KSRTC tickets in front of domestic and international airports. The staff will help the passengers board the buses along with their luggage and, if necessary, seats will be arranged in order to provide more luggage space inside the bus. These buses will charge a ticket fare ranging from ₹20 to ₹50 including luggage. As an introductory offer, the luggage charges would be free and there would be a discount of 10% on fares, said the release.

The employees who were taken into custody by the police for blocking the opening services said that they were not against starting new electric bus services under the platform of KSRTC-SWIFT, a newly formed company. But the decision to take over the city services operated by the KSRTC by the new company could not be agreed, they said.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 9:29:19 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/amid-stir-ksrtc-launches-electric-city-circular-bus-service/article65712411.ece