Kochi: With private bus industry staring at a huge crisis, the operators across the state are all set to follow the Kochi model of revenue sharing by forming societies to reap benefits of bulk purchase of fuel and spare parts among others.
“We’ve decided to form a co-operative society on the lines of that formed under the initiative of the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd in Ernakulam. A primary discussion, also attended by the representatives of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, was held in Palakkad on Friday,” said T Gopinath, general secretary of the All Kerala Bus Operators Associa-tion.
The society will be registered under the name ‘Kerala Bus Operators Association’, with a separate bank account.
The crew of the buses will be provided with GPS-enabled ticket machines, and the revenue collection will go to the bank account which will be shared equally among the operators.
“The operational expe-nse will come down as discounts can be availed for bulk purchase of fuel, spare parts, tyres and insurance. The oil company has already promised to give royalty. There will be over 100 buses under the society in each district. Other bus operator organisations too are planning to tread the same path,” Mr Gopinath said.
There will be over 200 buses under the societies to be formed in the districts of Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kannur, Kozhikode and Kottayam.
Earlier, 900 buses in the Kochi and the Greater Kochi area joined hands to operate under seven companies – My Metro Bus Services, Kochi Metro Transport Co-operative Society, Kochi Wheels United, Pratheeksha, Perfect, Greater Cochin Bus Transport and Muziris.
“For the last over a year, we’re purchasing bulk fuel, and the BPCL provided us a royalty of Rs 28 lakh. The same is calculated by points awarded each time during the bulk purchase of fuel,” said Nisar Karukapadath of the ‘My Metro Bus Services’.
“It’s the right step by bus operators to focus on cost-cutting through such measures rather than demanding another hike in ticket prices. The latter will also result in more people moving away from the public transport system,” said P. Krishn-akumar, general secretary, Thrissur Railway Passen-gers Association....