Mysore/Mysuru: Days after transport employees returned to work ending their 15-day strike on Apr. 21, the KSRTC is now facing dearth of passengers following the imposition of weekend curfew and enforcement of other severe restrictions to control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which is causing havoc across the country.
Although the KSRTC authorities were ready to operate buses on a full-scale this morning following the weekend curfew that ended at 6 am, the KSRTC Sub-Urban Bus Stand saw only a few passengers, that forced the authorities to operate buses to different destinations only on passenger response.
Although today was the beginning of the week, only office-goers preferred to travel to their place of work, while other commuters seemed to have opted to stay away from travelling.
With poor response, KSRTC operated only a few trips to destinations such as Bengaluru, Hassan, Chikkamagalur, Shivamogga, Davangere, Chamarajanagar, Madikeri, Mangaluru etc., based on the response of commuters.
However, compared to Intra-State services, the KSRTC had more patronage for its Inter-State services, with more number of passengers travelling to various destinations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The usually buzzing City Bus Stand too had fewer commuters and city bus services were operated based on passenger demand to different localities.
Meanwhile, the KSRTC has issued a circular to all its officials, staff and workers on COVID-19 guidelines to be followed in the operation of buses.
According to the guidelines, all buses will have only 50 percent seat occupancy, with a maximum of 30 passengers. The middle seat in three-seat row will be kept vacant, while in the case of 2-seat row, only one passenger will be allowed to sit. However, today the above rule was not followed.
As the daily curfew is in force from 9 pm to 6 am, buses will be operated in this period only in case of need and also depending upon the number of reserved seats.
During weekend curfew, that will be in effect from 9 pm on Friday till 6 am on Monday, the KSRTC will operate trips only if required. Also, all the operating staff and passengers are required to follow COVID-19 appropriate behaviour such as proper wearing of face mask, maintenance of physical distancing and use of hand sanitisers, during travel and at bus stations. Similar is the situation in case of Railways, with regular trains to Bengaluru departing from the city with far fewer passengers than normal this morning.