After a gap of three decades, PEPSU Roadways Transport Corporation (PRTC) has resumed the intrastate night bus service that was snapped during the militancy period.
A PRTC bus carrying 25 passengers started from Chandigarh at 10 pm on Thursday and reached Patiala around mid-night. Similarly, a bus full of passengers from Ambala reached Patiala at mid-night. Till now, PEPSU buses used to go off roads at 9.15 pm.
“There was a huge demand from passengers for the night bus service. So, we have started services on short routes. With passage of time, we will increase frequency and routes”, said PRTC managing director Manjit Singh.
From next week, a PRTC bus will start from Chandigarh at 12am and reach to Patiala at 2am. The corporation is planning to start long distance bus service from Bathinda, Amritsar and Ludhiana in the coming days.
Night bus services were snapped in 1987 after increasing incidents of passengers being targeted by militants were witnessed.
The PRTC MD said the corporation has now proper infrastructure to start round-the-clock bus services in coming months. Currently, passengers, who have to travel at night, depend on taxis or private buses.
A retired conductor Rajinder Singh said: “Before 1984, we had round-the-clock bus services. At that time, passengers from Bathinda and Ferozepur used to travel at night to visit Amritsar and other places. I remained on night duty for five years, before the services were snapped”.