In another trick to compete with private transport companies, the Maharashtra State Road Transport and Corporation (MSRTC) will make movies and refreshments available in its intercity buses.
The state transport will float a tender on Saturday to place liquid crystal display (LCD) screens inside the air-conditioned buses. The Shivneri buses run by MSRTC that connect Mumbai to Pune, Panji and Bangalore and also run on routes from Pune to Aurangabad, Sangli, Kolhapur, Thane and Borivli will have LCD screens in every bus that will display soundless advertisements and play movies according to public demand.
“There is an on-going issue of cleanliness in the buses. Those who fulfill the demand will be given the contract soon,” said Deepak Kapoor, vice-chairman and managing director of the MSRTC. The year 2010-11 saw 37% growth in the commuters using the AC buses. Currently, 72 Shivneri buses are in MSRTC’s fleet and it runs 65 trips daily from Mumbai to Pune, segregated on three routes Borivli-Pune, Thane-Pune and Dadar-Pune. Currently the total fleet of Shivneri buses is 91.
According to MSRTC, all the AC bus routes are doing financially well. The LCD screens and refreshments in the buses are expected to bring additional revenue.