Hyderabad: Notwithstanding the incessant raids and seizures of private buses, those still running seem to be making a fortune ahead of the festive rush. Seats on buses run by most private travel operators are either sold out or have sky rocketing fares.
With only about half of private buses running due to seizures and cancellation of permits, demand has increased. Doubts are also raised about whether the Andhra Pradesh State Road Trensport Corporation can cater to all these extra passengers.
It also appears that many passengers, undeterred by the recent accidents, still prefer Volvo buses. Major routes during the festive season are from Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad.
Fares for Chennai-Hyderabad and Mumbai-Hyderabad route have already hit the `3,000 mark and even on the Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam route, private bus fares have shot up by nearly three times.
After continuous raids and seizures of buses, transport officials estimate that only about half of the original numbers of private buses in the state are now plying. The demand has gone up with availability in trains also expiring months ago.
Most of those travelling are young techies employed in other cities who don’t seem very enthusiastic about travelling in APSRTC. “I would still prefer a private bus if I get a ticket because of the time factor and the comfort. Government buses are almost always delayed,” T. Maitreyi, a techie said.
Another techie and regular traveller on Bangalore- Hyderabad route, C. Sunil Kartik said, “State government has services within the state but it is hard to find good state buses from Bangalore or Chennai to Hyderabad. Private buses have a better network. I am not sure how APSRTC is going to add to that.”
Meanwhile, APSRTC has already announced that it will run some more additional buses. However, the state corporation has only about 140 high-end buses in its entire fleet and this number is just a fraction of the private buses plying in the state....