Could December turn profitable for TSRTC?

The 51 lakh ridership recorded recently is a new high for the TSRTC with the corporation doing relatively well on other parameters, including increasing fuel efficiency over the past couple of months

Updated - December 25, 2023 11:40 pm IST

Published - December 23, 2023 11:56 am IST - Hyderabad

Higher ridership, thanks to the Maha Lakshmi scheme, is nudging the TSRTC to a profitable month in December.

Higher ridership, thanks to the Maha Lakshmi scheme, is nudging the TSRTC to a profitable month in December. | Photo Credit: File picture

A spike in ridership, courtesy the festive season, and the overwhelming response to the Congress’ Maha Lakshmi scheme which provides free bus travel for women, are likely to nudge the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) towards a profitable month.

According to the TSRTC, as many as three crore women took buses till Wednesday. The percentage of women taking the bus stood at 62% and the total occupancy shot up from 69% recorded in November this year to 88%. Christmas, New Year and Sankranthi are expected to keep the occupancy up.

Also Read | Telangana Govt launches free rides for girls, women and trangender persons in TSRTC buses

The TSRTC is set to enhance passenger convenience by introducing 200 new diesel buses by Sankranti. Plans are afoot to bring into operation 50 buses within a week.

Over 2,000 new buses are likely be introduced in the next four to five months. “This includes 400 Express buses, 512 Palle Velugu buses, 92 Lahari sleeper-cum-seater buses, and 56 AC Rajdhani buses. Additionally, 540 electric vehicles will be deployed in Hyderabad, with another 500 in different parts of Telangana. Our goal is to make all these buses operational by the end of March next year,” said TSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director V.C. Sajjanar. The fleet strength of the corporation as in September stood at a little over 9,053.

Meanwhile, data from December 15 to December 20 shows that in the Greater Hyderabad Zone, the total number of zero ticket women passengers (treated as reimbursement from the government) was a little over 69 lakh. Data indicates that they constituted approximately 63% of the passengers who contributed to nearly 54% of the TSRTC’s earnings. Similarly, in Karimnagar Zone, 61% of passengers were zero ticket women passengers who contributed to a little over 47% of the TSRTC’s earnings.

This may come across as a breath of fresh air as the State road transport undertaking has been a loss-making enterprise. This profitablity is linked to reimbursement by the State government to the TSRTC on time. The TSRTC leadership, including Vice-Chairman and Managing Director V.C. Sajjanar, is confident that the Maha Lakshmi Scheme will not be a loss-making endeavour and will usher in a change for the better. The reimbursements are expected from the State government.

The 51 lakh ridership recorded recently is a new high for the TSRTC with the corporation doing relatively well on other parameters, including increasing fuel efficiency over the past couple of months.

Meanwhile, according to a different dataset, the TSRTC continues to face challenges as about 1,497 villages, till September this year, remained unconnected by its bus network. This means that women from these villages continue to grapple with commuting issues.

Maha Lakshmi Scheme has led to an unprecedented increase in ridership, and the TSRTC is working towards making arrangement for ticketed travellers as well, particularly in the peak morning hours.

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