The bus stand wears a deserted look amid the Covid-19 lockdown in Patiala on Thursday.(BHARAT BHUSHAN/HT)
The bus stand wears a deserted look amid the Covid-19 lockdown in Patiala on Thursday.(BHARAT BHUSHAN/HT)

PRTC to double buses plying on Punjab roads from tomorrow

Two hundred buses will be pressed into service against the present 110
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Navrajdeep Singh, Patiala
PUBLISHED ON MAY 31, 2020 01:37 AM IST

The Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) is set to nearly double the number of buses it is currently plying on the Punjab roads from Monday with a view to ensuring that commuters using public transport do not face any inconvenience.

Two hundred buses will be pressed into service against the present 110. The state government-run transporter had resumed its service on May 20 after relaxations in the ongoing lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The decision on stoppages is yet to be taken as the buses currently are running directly from one boarding station to the other and that too on inter-district routes.

The state government is yet to give nod to the private transporters to begin service.

PRTC managing director (MD) Jaskaran Singh said besides increasing number of buses, the depot managers have been directed to follow the time table strictly.

“Earlier, the buses waited for the number of passengers as per occupancy norms before starting journey. But from June 1, the buses will run as per the timetable. More buses will ply on key routes, especially towards Chandigarh so that people could easily visit the state capital for work,” the MD said.

“The number of buses will be increased gradually. Service on other key routes and in other rural areas will be resumed as per the state government’s directions,” he added.

The corporation, which has fleet of 1,073 buses in nine depots, faced a loss of 51 crore in the first 60 days of the lockdown, with average daily loss pegged at 85 lakh.

Also, not many people are preferring to travel in public transport due to fear of contracting coronavirus. With only 30% of occupancy, the PRTC is already finding it financially unviable to ply its buses on roads.

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