Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 19 May 2024 7.21 PM IST

KSRTC fears setback after reports of losing passengers en masse due to cutting down services


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Experts say that reducing several services, including ordinary, and abandoning reforms half-way in the interest of profit will drive passengers away from KSRTC again. The reforms to attract commuters have been initiated following reports that 17 lakh people have abandoned the public transport system in the last two years. First mile and last mile connectivity where buses arrive at doorsteps, e-bus circular service at low fares in Thiruvananthapuram city were part of this. After this, the passengers started opting for buses once again. It was estimated that the decrease in the number of private vehicles registered in 2023 was also a part of this.

There was a change in the top posts of the transport department and when KSRTC planned to expand the reforms. With that, the reforms began to be withdrawn one by one. Daily services were cut down in places including unprofitable routes. There was situation where people sturggle for seats even in fast and superfast buses.

With this, passengers who were tired of waiting started relying on private services again. Even amid the surge in fuel prices, public started depending on scooters and cars to reach destinations on time. Experts say that this will cause a heavy blow to KSRTC.

65 lakh passengers lost

Last year, the Transport Department considered a report that 65 lakh passengers who depended on public transport had switched to private vehicles in the last 10 years. The report also said that there is a chance to lose10 lakh passengers in 2023 alone. This was reported by Kerala Kaumudi on February 20, 2023. After that, KSRTC introduced reforms.

Current service cuts

1. Daily service reduced by one lakh km

2. KSRTC prefer to avoid trips that do not generate Rs.28 per km

3. Night services reduced by more than half

Private vehicles, drop in 2023

(Year, newly registered in Kerala, growth, national growth)

2021.............7,65,796, 19.47%, 1.51%

2022............ 7,83,977, 2.37%, 14.09%

2023.............7,58,938, -3.19%, 11.26%

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