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Vajra buses turn white elephant for TSRTC

Vajra buses turn white elephant for TSRTC
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Vajra buses turn white elephant for TSRTC

Highlights

The Vajra mini buses, which were introduced with much fanfare on the advice of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao who wanted the TSRTC to provide last mile connectivity and had won National Public Transport Excellence Award under commuter-friendly initiatives and Skoch Award for the door-to-door service initiative, has now turned into a white elephant for the corporation.

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Hyderabad: The Vajra mini buses, which were introduced with much fanfare on the advice of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao who wanted the TSRTC to provide last mile connectivity and had won National Public Transport Excellence Award under commuter-friendly initiatives and Skoch Award for the door-to-door service initiative, has now turned into a white elephant for the corporation.

The maintenance cost of these buses has been shooting up while the revenue generated was very poor. The corporation now proposes to sell them as scrap.

The Vajra mini a/c buses were launched in 2017 with an aim to provide travel facility from house to house without the need for the passengers to come to the bus stations. These services were extended to Karimnagar and Godavarikhani routes and later in the Hyderabad-Warangal route.

The buses were planned to pick up passengers from their colonies. About 40 buses were taken in the first instalment. However, the buses could not get much patronage from the people.

Earlier, the ticket booking was through a mobile application but with not much response, the authorities allowed the passengers to board from anywhere but still the patronage was not sufficient. Sources said that the higher fares were one of the reasons.

Though the Corporation had reduced the prices to some extent, there was no improvement in the occupancy ratio in the 22-seater mini a/c buses. When the ticket fare between Hyderabad and Nizamabad was Rs 347, the authorities reduced it to Rs 294 but still the passengers felt that it was beyond their reach.

According to officials, the maintenance cost was more than the revenue generated by these buses and the corona pandemic had also left an impact on the earnings. The buses have almost gone off the road now.

Some of the buses were modified and used for cargo services but the very purpose of the services got defeated, said trade union leader and former TSRTC director M Nageswara Rao.

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