With the government deciding to further relax the curfew from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., AP State Road Transport Corporation is ready to start operating an additional number of buses starting Monday June 21.
The public transport giant, which had operated 2,500 buses until June 10, due to the partial closure, increased the number of buses in use to 4,000. “Due to a further relaxation of the curfew, we intend to increase the number of buses to 7,000,” said K. Brahmanandam, Executive Director (Operations). The RTC opened its advance booking offices at Pandit Nehru bus station a few days ago so that people can book their tickets.
The Telangana State RTC has meanwhile also announced its decision to operate buses to Andhra Pradesh from Monday during the easing times. However, the authorities have made it clear that non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocol will not be tolerated either on the premises of the bus stations or on the bus. Only people with masks are allowed to board the buses and the use of disinfectants will also be mandatory.
Focus on cargo area
With a large fleet of buses confined to the depots due to the lockdown, the authorities have come up with an innovative plan to prop up the organization’s revenue by converting the old Palle Velugu and a few other buses in the category into trucks. In order to recognize the potential of freight services, a plan was drawn up to convert 78 scheduled buses into freight vehicles and use them for logistics. Thirty buses have already been redesigned to meet the needs of freight services by removing seats and making space for cargo.
Looking for support from the various departments, the APSRTC authorities came up with the idea of using these trucks to deliver books for the Ministry of Education, rice and essentials for the civil service wing, and seeds and other agricultural products for the schools in the Department of Agriculture .