After more than six months, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC), on Friday resumed its city bus services.
The State government had suspended bus services initially due to lockdown and later in view of COVID restrictions. In keeping with the announcement made a day before, the transport juggernaut operated a quarter of its city fleet. According to TSRTC officials, as many as 731 buses were pressed into service.
The most number of buses travelled from Patancheru to Farooqnagar, Patancheru to Hayatnagar, Ibrahimpatnam to Jubilee Bus Station, Secunderabad to Dilsukhnagar, Koti to Ghansimiyaguda and Uppal to Mehdipatnam with 40 buses plying on each route.
Officials said that much of the planning was focused the night before on route selection and the number of buses proposed to be deployed on them. Apart from this, planning frequency of buses was also looked into.
Witnesses and officials both said that the occupancy was low on the first day of resumption of services. However, they expressed confidence that the number of passengers would increase.
“We began operations around 6 a.m. By around 9 a.m., all the buses earmarked for operations were on the road. We did witness a low occupancy, but as is the trend, this will increase in the coming days,” an official said.
Another official maintained that COVID–19 precautions as mandated by the State government were taken. These include providing sanitisers to staff, including drivers and conductors. “Each driver is given one bottle of sanitiser. Conductors have been given two bottles of sanitisers. One for themselves and the other for passengers. The sanitiser will be dispensed to the passengers when the come to buy tickets,” the official said. Each bus is being sanitised three times a day, he added.