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Comfortable ride

Print edition : Jun 15, 2012

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KSRTC's state-of-the-art bus terminus in Hassan.-

KSRTC's state-of-the-art bus terminus in Hassan.-

ESTABLISHED in August 1961 under the provisions of the Road Transport Corporation Act, 1950, as a public transport company, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is owned by the Government of Karnataka, with the Government of India also being a shareholder. The initial mission of the corporation was to empower the people of the State with adequate, efficiently coordinated, economical and reliable transportation.

In August 1997, the KSRTC was bifurcated, and a new corporation, called the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) was created. In November 1997, another road transport corporation, called the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), was formed to cater to the needs of the north-western parts of Karnataka. Recently, the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) was formed, with its corporate office located in Gulbarga.

With a fleet strength of almost 7,800 vehicles, the KSRTC is the fourth largest State road transport undertaking in India. It has 15 divisions, 72 vehicle depots, 112 bus stations, two regional workshops and a workforce of 33,800. It covers over 2.5 million kilometres and carries over 2.5 million passengers on a daily basis. Daily revenues total Rs.6 crore, while the revenue for 2010-11 totalled Rs.2,078.64 crore.

The KSRTC is using Central and State government funds in its efforts to modernise its infrastructure. The state-of-the-art bus station in Hassan is a case in point. Built at a cost of Rs.32 crore on 7.2 hectares of land, it is said to be the largest bus station in India. The KSRTC operates its services in 92 per cent of the villages, that is, 6,743 of the 7,298 villages in the State, and extends its services to popular business and leisure destinations in the other southern States.

One of the few profit-making State transport undertakings, the KSRTC has been striving to offer bus services that are low on emissions and high on commuter convenience and comfort. The KSRTC is the first transport corporation to implement the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). Besides adding several dozens of buses, including 30 Volvo and 41 semi low-floor and 79 medium-floor buses, to its fleet, the corporation plans to set up seven inter-modal transit centres (IMTCs) and a passenger amenity centre at a cost of Rs.108 crore. The KSRTC introduced Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in Mysore using the grant of around Rs.21 crore from the World Bank Global Environment Facility and the JNNURM project to help provide commuters with efficient, safe, and environment- and commuter-friendly solutions. ITS help track and monitor the movement of buses on a real-time basis using the global positioning system (GPS), inform commuters about the bus routes and timings through LED display systems; provide instant access to information related to bus schedules and fare details; establish two-way interaction between the driver and the central control station; and monitor breakdowns and accidents. The project covers 500 buses, 106 bus stops, six bus terminals and 45 platforms in Mysore, and is the first of its kind in India. The KSRTC is also putting in place automated voice announcement systems and an automatic vehicle location system.

It has launched customised city bus services in Tumkur under the Sustainable Mobility for Tier II and III Cities initiative. The KSRTC is perhaps the first road transport corporation to design, fabricate and operate low-floor buses under the economic stimulus package of the Government of India. The Union Ministry of Urban Development has circulated the KSRTC model and specifications to other States.

Ravi Sharma

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