KSRTC’S Volvo city bus fleet climbs to 46
According to sources six Volvo city buses are ready to be added to the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) fleet of 40 buses at Kochi. If another four lowfloor city buses are pressed into the fleet, the city will fulfil the quota of 50 low-floor buses alloted to it under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. In the case of semi-low floor buses, Kochi has to buy two more buses to exhaust its fleet strength quota of 120 under the scheme.
Sources informed that apart from the six procured buses, two more Volvo buses are expected to start plying in the Fort Kochi to international airport route over the next two weeks so that KSRTC has a bus embarking on the route every hour. Meanwhile, another important route that is witnessing heavy demand for AC buses is route between Mattancherry and Perumbavoor. For this route, KSRTC aims at reducing the frequency of AC buses from four hours currently to about two hours. Not only that, there were also plans to beef up night service buses from the city to suburban towns.
Even as the state transport department is introducing more buses, sources said that it was facing difficulties in earning the break-even mark of Rs 50 per km on several of its JNNURUM bus services. Experts said that the hike in diesel prices is the chief reason for this issue. Sources inform that fuel expenses have gone up by about Rs 800 per day, while the fares for JNNURUM buses have not been revised during the past two bus-fare revisions.