Kerala

KSRTC ‘bypass rider’ service in Feb

Close on the heels of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) issuing a notification on January 24 to float KSRTC-SWIFT as an independent company to operate a fleet of long-distance buses, it is readying to launch ‘bypass rider’ services linking Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.

The buses that will ply in the corridor, avoiding bus depots tucked inside towns, will be a mix of semi-sleeper and air-suspension buses. Once launched in the first week of February, the service could take up to three months to stabilise, says Biju Prabhakar, Chairman and Managing Director, KSRTC.

These buses, which will operate through the bypass corridors in different districts every hour, are expected to take two hours lesser than the existing buses to cover the distance. They will operate on the lines of the Chill Bus service that the KSRTC introduced about four years ago.

Feeder buses will operate from different towns to these stations to provide first and last-mile connectivity to commuters. They will offer free ride to commuters who have reserved tickets for bypass rider buses.

KSRTC-SWIFT

The KSRTC-SWIFT will begin operations with a fleet of 116 new buses to be purchased soon to replace the 704 buses, the services of which were extended by a year or two in 2021 due to inadequate number of buses in the agency. “It include eight new sleeper buses from the Volvo stable, 20 semi-sleeper buses, and 72 buses having air suspension,” says Mr. Prabhakar.

A total of 175 of the 310 CNG-run buses that will be procured too will operate under the banner of the KSRTC-SWIFT in Thiruvananthapuram city, while the rest will operate fast-passenger services from the city to towns in the suburbs. A fleet of 50 electric buses that the KSRTC will procure will replace the existing city-circular services there. Put short, the 175 CNG buses will supplement the fleet of 116 new buses with which the KSRTC-SWIFT will begin its operations, sources said.

The KSRTC-SWIFT has in the meantime invited applications from qualified personnel below 45 years of age who are willing to be deployed as driver-cum-conductor in its fleet of long-distance buses.


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Printable version | May 23, 2022 4:59:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-bypass-rider-service-in-feb/article38340489.ece