More A.P. buses, TS services to run from today

APSRTC converts some passenger buses into cargo vehicles to shore up revenues

With the government deciding to further relax the curfew hours from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., the AP State Road Transport Corporation is all geared up to press into operation additional number of buses from Monday (June 21).

The public transport giant, which had operated 2,500 buses till June 10 in view of the partial lockdown, increased the number of buses in operation to 4,000. “Due to further relaxation of the curfew, we intend to mount the number of buses in operation to 7,000,” said K. Brahmanandam, Executive Director (Operations). The RTC opened its advance ticket reservation counters at the Pandit Nehru Bus Station a couple of days ago to enable people to book their tickets.

The Telangana State RTC, meanwhile, has also announced its decision to operate buses to Andhra Pradesh from Monday during the curfew relaxation hours. The authorities have, however, made it clear that non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocol will not be tolerated either on the premises of the bus stations or inside the bus. Only people wearing masks will be allowed to board the buses and use of sanitisers will also be mandatory.

Focus on cargo sector

With a large fleet of buses remaining confined to the depots due to the lockdown, the authorities have come up with an innovative plan to shore up the organisation’s revenues by converting old Palle Velugu and a few other category buses into cargo vehicles. Realising the potential of cargo services, a plan has been drawn to convert 78 passenger service buses into cargo vehicles and utilise them for logistics. Thirty buses have already been redesigned to suit the needs of the cargo services by removing the seats and creating space for loading cargo.

Seeking support of the various departments, the APSRTC authorities have tossed the idea of pressing these cargo vehicles into service to supply stocks of books to schools for the Department of Education, rice and essential commodities for the Civil Supplies wing and seeds and other farm products for the Agriculture Department.

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