Kerala

KSRTC operates more services to ease COVID-19 curbs

The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has started operating more schedules in the State to mitigate hassles caused by restrictions imposed on travelling standing in buses in the wake of the spurt in COVID-19.

The government has restricted the number of passengers permitted to the sanctioned seat capacity in buses. As the majority of seats often get filled at the starting point of the trip itself during peak hours, commute for others boarding in between has turned a hurdle.

Compared to the 3,261 schedules the KSRTC operated on April 17, it had 3,362 schedules on Monday. On Sunday, the KSRTC operated 2,315 schedules and the services came in handy for many of those who attended the Kerala Public Service Commission examinations in which 2.52 lakh appeared.

“The aim is to provide services to all and help commuters not go in search of other modes of transport in these difficult times,” a senior KSRTC official told The Hindu.

Loss of revenue

The road transport corporation is also relieved to carry passengers in all seats now unlike the curbs earlier when social distancing was enforced. However, the loss from ticketing revenue caused by disallowing travel by standing in buses will not be overcome with operation of more schedules. In the South zone comprising Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts, the KSRTC ferries 7.5 lakh commuters daily and 8 lakh during peak days.

The restrictions had come at a time when the revenue was picking up after KSRTC resumed full-fledged operations in December 2020 after the services were suspended for nine months from March 25 last year following the COVID-induced lockdown.

The KSRTC was operating 5,218 schedules before the lockdown days and the initial plan was to operate at least 4,791 schedules daily. COVID special fares introduced to overcome the curbs are still applicable, but fares have been reduced by 25% in Superfast and above classes, air-conditioned and JNNURM buses on three post-peak days of the week.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 4:35:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/ksrtc-operates-more-services-to-ease-covid-curbs/article34358961.ece

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