Mysore/Mysuru: The State-run KSRTC, which resumed bus services on May 19, nearly two months after the services were suspended following the COVID-19 lockdown, has seen an increase in the ridership of passengers in rural areas since the past couple of days.
KSRTC had received lukewarm response from passengers when it resumed operations on May 19 by maintaining social distancing and other lockdown measures.
KSRTC Mysuru Rural Divisional Controller R. Ashok Kumar told ‘SOM’ that passenger ridership is gradually picking up with each passing day, although there were a few passengers in the beginning. At present, 110 buses of the Division are making 450 trips every day. As there is a rush for Bengaluru, 30 buses are making 60 trips daily to the State capital and only 30 passengers are allowed in each bus, in compliance with social distancing norms, he said.
Pointing out that all buses are sanitised after every trip, he said that hand sanitisers are available in buses and passengers should make use of it. “We are expecting passenger ridership to return to normalcy once the lockdown ends. Earlier the Division used to operate 800 to 1,000 trips daily on different routes, including 350 to 400 trips to Bengaluru alone. Now we are preparing to operate services in full scale as the number of passengers will naturally rise once the lockdown ends,” he said and added that the KSRTC staff are trained and equipped to handle passengers in the new normal following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
City buses too witness rise in passengers
Meanwhile, city buses too have witnessed a rise in the number of passengers in the past couple of days.
Speaking to ‘Star of Mysore’, Mysuru City Divisional Controller M.P. Nagaraj said that city buses lacked ridership when services resumed but it has picked up in the subsequent days and now there is a demand for operating more buses on KRS, Kalyanagiri, Kuvempunagar, Naidunagar and other routes. “We are operating more buses on routes where there is passenger demand at present and hope to resume full scale operations once the lockdown ends. At present there is only one entry and exit point for passengers and all of them are required to undergo thermal screening. Also, all passengers are required to mandatorily wear face masks and passengers without face masks can buy them at the shop in the bus stand complex. A limited number of passengers will be allowed in city buses in keeping with social distancing norms,” he said and added that the single entry and exit point will be in place till the lockdown is lifted in total.