Lucknow commuters face AC transport shortage amid rising summer heat - Hindustan Times
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Lucknow commuters face AC transport shortage amid rising summer heat

Mar 31, 2024 11:01 PM IST

According to the UPSRTC, the state fleet has 11,800 buses, of which only 700 are air-conditioned, and only 100 run on Lucknow routes.

LUCKNOW

For Representation Only (HT File)
For Representation Only (HT File)

As peak summer approaches, commuters in Lucknow are bracing for a shortage of air-conditioned transport options in the city. With bus travel being the preferred choice for the majority of daily commuters, the lack of AC buses could pose significant inconvenience.

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With temperatures having climbed to over 40 degrees Celsius last year on the hottest day in the city, despite buses being the most convenient and affordable conveyance with the best connectivity, non-air-conditioned buses in the season may prove extremely uncomfortable, especially during office hours due to overcrowding, say commuters.

According to the UPSRTC, the state fleet has 11,800 buses, of which only 700 are air-conditioned, and only 100 run on Lucknow routes. Ajit Singh, Manager (Technical) at UPSRTC, said, “The main routes like Lucknow to Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, etc., are covered by AC buses, but not all routes. Each of these vehicles has 41 seats.”

City transport, too, besides being under-equipped in terms of fleet, also lacks enough air-conditioned buses, despite being the most relied-upon form of public transport here. Currently, 40 buses from the fleet have been taken away to Ayodhya for ferrying devotees, which has already put pressure on those remaining in the city - buses are having to make extra trips to compensate for the missing buses, and schedules have been affected as well.

Of the remaining 200 (approx.) city transport buses, 140 are air-conditioned, informed RK Upadhyay, Operations Manager at Lucknow City Transport. “Of the 90 buses that had gone to Ayodhya, 50 have rejoined the LCT fleet; we have not been informed when the remaining 40 can be added back to Lucknow streets,” he said.

With suffocating crowds in the buses traveling through key bus stops of the city, a lack of air-conditioned buses may, in the long run, prove to be an unpopular choice with commuters. However, the same level of connectivity at the same prices cannot be obtained with any other form of public transportation. Many commuters agree that they are resigned to traveling in discomfort in Lucknow summers and have become accustomed to the inconvenience, as they cannot afford the metro or paid cab rides.

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