More MMTS trains to Hi-Tec City

FAST AND RELIABLE: Office-goers using the MMTS at the Begumpet Railway station. PHOTO: K. Ramesh Babu

FAST AND RELIABLE: Office-goers using the MMTS at the Begumpet Railway station. PHOTO: K. Ramesh Babu  

S.Sandeep Kumar

Representations made by software companies pay off

From 10,000 passengers, it now caters to over 47,000Lack of coordination between SCR, RTC is the only 'hurdle'

HYDERABAD: The South Central Railway (SCR) has at last decided to increase Multi Model Transport System (MMTS) trains to Hi-Tec City from Thursday onwards, but lack of a combined rail-bus ticket and feeder bus services continues to be a dampener.

Packed trains during peak hour timings especially on the Hi-Tec City route and representations made by software companies appear to have made the SCR see reason.

84 services

SCR had announced 84 services with considerably increased speed from the current 65 services. MMTS services were started in 2003 with 47 trains with a patronage of 10,000 passengers a day that gradually rose to 39,000 passengers in December 2005.

The APSRTC too began to run 50 feeder link bus services to stations after much cajoling.

And just when MMTS appeared to be gaining momentum, the Railway Board sat on proposals to increase frequency, common ticket and the second phase.

Soon, the RTC that was operating the feeder services albeit reluctantly, decided to withdraw them.

"We were operating buses at a loss from the beginning because of poor occupancy ratio," says Regional Manager C. Pandu Ranga Murthy.

Conflicting views

SCR too kept stating that MMTS was a loss-making project despite an increase in patronage to nearly 47,000 a day in September 2006. This was said to be the result of better services and increase in commuter traffic, but RTC refused to budge on reintroducing feeder buses.

MMTS officials, however, felt RTC was competing rather than complementing the train services. When the railways approved the common ticket last year, the details were not to RTC's liking.

"Railways put common pass ticket at Rs.450 with RTC's share being Rs.290 and Rs.160 for SCR, but this entailed a loss of Rs.50 to RTC as its general bus pass costs Rs.340," explained a senior official.

Acceptable solution

Despite numerous meetings both organisations were unable to reach a mutually acceptable solution for apportioning of revenue common across cities world over.

"Both SCR and RTC calculate operating costs differently, hence there is no common ground," points out an official.

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