KOCHI: The income of the private bus services operating in the metro corridor has shown a marked decline after the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has extended the service to MG Road comprising the central business areas in the city. “There is a sharp fall in the `7 minimum category of tickets in the past few days”, says MB Sathyan, president of the Kerala State Private Bus Operators Federation. The metro services to the MG Road has commenced on October 3. The reports received from bus owners have shown that the decline in the `7-category is around 150-200 tickets per bus per day in vehicles operating Aluva-MG Road stretch, he said.
In the longer stretch also decline has been noticed, but it would take a few more days to collect a tangible data in this regard, he added. Some people say a decline of 5-10 tickets per day in Aluva-Kalamasserry or Aluva-Edappally sectors, he said. According to Mr Sathyan around 70 buses are operating in the Aluva-MG Road stretch, which also happened to be the metro corridor. The experience of the past ten days after the introduction of the metro to MG Road shows that the bus owners are facing a bleak future, he said.
‘We need to have a stable revenue stream. Otherwise many people will be forced to abandon the services’, he added. But so far no operator has stopped the services due to the fall in income. The situation is similar to the one that prevailed following the introduction of JNNURM buses. Many operators quit the business gradually as the JNNURM services started eating into the revenue stream, he said. A section of bus operators is hoping that the much-talked feeder services by KMRL may help them to tide over the present situation by deploying the vehicles forced to stop the regular services.