Visakhapatnam: Amid dip in occupancy, RTC raises up safety measures

Sanitisation measures in place at an RTC depot in Visakhapatnam
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Sanitisation measures in place at an RTC depot in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

  • Amid rising daily caseload, RTC authorities consider improved measures to increase occupancy
  • The passenger ratio has fallen below 50 per cent in recent weeks as Covid-19 cases soar in Vizag
  • Sanitising the bus twice a day, displaying boards to wear masks and maintain social distance, pamphlets that list safety protocols are some of the steps being taken by the corporation

Visakhapatnam: At a time when coronavirus cases are increasing at an alarming rate, RTC buses record a steady drop in occupancy.

Keeping this in view, the Road Transport Corporation authorities are considering stricter hygiene interventions to rebuild confidence among passengers and ensure that their journey towards various destinations is safe.

In connection with this, measures are in place to make the travel clean and hygiene for the passengers.

Some of the interventions include, sanitising the bus twice a day, displaying boards to wear masks and maintain social distance, sticking pamphlets that list safety protocols and announcing measures through mics.

About 950-1,000 buses are being operated across the district on a regular basis. The RTC buses registered 70 percent occupancy in January and February. "However, amid surge in active Covid-19 cases in recent weeks, the occupancy has fallen below 50 percent. Our target is to push it to at least 60 percent," explains K. Venkata Rao, Chief Traffic Manager, Dwaraka bus station.

Masks are made mandatory for the passengers to board the bus. Posters on the buses clearly indicate that there is no entry for those stepping in without a mask.

Apart from an increasing daily caseload, people are putting off their travel plans unless it is inevitable.

Another major reason for the consistent drop in the occupancy-level is the easy accessibility of private cabs and auto-rickshaws.

Though the passenger ratio has been hit in recent weeks to a considerable extent, those preferring a safe journey continue to board RTC buses.

However, with the improvised safety protocols in place, the authorities concerned are hopeful that the occupancy rate is going to register a rise in the coming days.



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