Representational image | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has decided to offer a 30 per cent fare discount in its ‘takeover services’.
‘Takeover services’ are the new bus services launched by KSRTC to curb illegal bus services. The private buses (contract carriages) are plying illegally on roads, including nationalised routes and are causing revenue loss for KSRTC. They operate like a parallel system and reportedly charge the commuters in an unauthorised manner.
Interestingly, they choose routes having heavy commuter rush. They reportedly exploit commuters who are left with two choices- hire a bus in groups or use personal vehicles.
The ticket sales of these contract carriages are carried out via online booking and agencies. Apparently, their agents cajole passengers standing inside KSRTC bus depots and make them opt for private buses. However, as per norms, not even recognised agencies are allowed to operate within 500 metres of KSRTC depots. Although these contract carriages are permitted to carry passengers only in groups, most of these buses board passengers midway and charge tickets.
To curb this practice KSRTC has launched 223 new services in such routes (above 140km stretch). As per KSRTC's latest media release, there will be a 30 per cent discount on fares. The apparent move is to attract more commuters.