With less passenger turnout, a few depots in Ernakulam and Idukki districts even stopped bus services from 11am to 3pm.

The lockdown has been relaxed even as cases are on the rise across country
news Transportation Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 08:16

On Wednesday, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (Kerala RTC) resumed its intra-district bus services following the lockdown relaxations. But very few passengers took the bus service on Wednesday, in most of the districts.

According to the lockdown relaxations laid down by the state government, following the Centre's directions, people can only travel in the buses by following physical distancing. This will allow a maximum of only 30 passengers in the bus. But in places like Kochi, buses could even be seen servicing a minimum of five people. 

In Thiruvananthapuram city also, Kerala RTC officials said there were very few passengers. 

"Though we expected a huge rush on the first day, the passenger turnout was very less. For instance, in Thiruvananthapuram, at least a moderate number of passengers were there only in Attingal and Neyyattinkara sectors, rest all the places, there were very few passengers. As per our calculations, a bus should at least raise Rs 27 per kilometre to compensate its diesel charges, and should raise Rs 47 per kilometre to pay for the salary of the driver and conductor. Observing today's situation, it is difficult to meet this minimum revenue. Hope more people will turn up in the coming days," an official of Kerala RTC in Thiruvananthapuram, told TNM. 

With less passenger turnout, a few depots even stopped bus services from 11 am to 3 pm. Depots in Ernakulam and Idukki districts resorted to this. This left a few passengers who had come to the bus stations, stranded for some hours. 

One such passenger, Krishna Kumar from Kolencherry, shared his experience with TNM. "I had come from the Kerala RTC bus from Kolenchery to the city today (Wednesday) morning for some official purpose. Now it's noon and I want to go back but people here are saying there is a bus only at 3 pm again.” 

Meanwhile, TNM could also spot people coming to bus depots on Wednesday to enquire about bus timings. The officials of Kerala RTC expect more people to turn up from the second day onwards.

Read : Kerala RTC resumes intra-district services with lockdown restrictions easing

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