In a bid to accommodate passengers travelling to their native places to celebrate Dasara festival, the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has decided to run over 4,000 special buses operating from Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, between October 8 to October 18. Addressing the media on Wednesday, APSRTC Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said that out of the 4,000 buses, 1,383 of them would be running from Hyderabad, 277 from Bengaluru, and 97 from Chennai. The remaining 2,243 buses are planned for clearance of traffic within the state, The New Indian Express reported.
According to the report, the corporation will be operating around 1,800 buses from October 8 to October 14, and the remaining 2,200 between October 15 and October 18. The fare would be increased on this occasion. The MD justified the action stating that these special buses are run with almost no passengers on one way. Even with one-and-half times fare, the RTC still incurs losses, he said, according to reports.
The MD also cited the increased fuel rate to justify the increase in fare during festive seasons.
According to the MD, despite increasing the fare by a few percent, the corporation would still run in losses. It must be recalled that last year the APSRTC did not run special buses from Hyderabad during Dasara due to a conflict with its Telangana counterpart over operation of buses.
Due to the dispute, APSRTC special buses were being operated from Telangana’s borders — Panchalingala, Garikapadu, Vadapalli, Jeelugumilli and Kallugudem — causing problems to the Andhra natives from Hyderabad who wanted to celebrate the festival. The dispute over the operation of buses lasted for nearly nine months. A truce was finally achieved in November 2020, after the TSRTC and APSRTC signed a Memorandum of Understanding. In 2019, APSRTC operated 4,614 buses during Dasara.
Speaking to the media, the MD also said that the corporation has installed GPS equipment in some buses and plans are afoot to install them in the rest at the earliest. The MD also disclosed that they are planning to refurbish the ‘Palle Velugu’ buses in a phased manner.