Despite having the largest fleet of buses in the world, the APSRTC struggles to meet commuter requirements in the City
The APSRTC holds the unique distinction of having the largest fleet of buses in the world, with a whopping 22,410 vehicles, of these 3,800 buses ply in Hyderabad alone. It even holds the Guinness world record for the same. However, one look at the overcrowded buses that tilt dangerously towards one side, makes you wonder if the road transport corporation should probably invest in a few more buses.
In fact, IT employees across the City have been complaining of the lack of buses during peak hours leading to overcrowding, especially along the Ameerpet-Hitec City belt. Every morning the bus stops along this stretch are crowded with employees hoping to board a bus that is not jam packed, but in vain. “I have to be at college by 9am but the buses are absolutely packed between 8am and 10am, making it hard for us to board one. Even if I let three or four buses go in the hope that the next one will be less crowded it’s of no use,” says Smitha N, a student.
Most of these buses ply from Secunderabad to Hitec City. So by the time they reach Mythrivanam, they are packed, making it hard for people between Ameerpet and Hitec City to board a less crowded bus. Incidentally, Mythrivanam happens to be the area where most IT employees reside. Adding to their woes is the fact that not all IT companies provide transport facilities to their employees. “We rely on public transport to get to work and it can be quite a challenge. No matter how long we wait at the bus stop, almost every bus that comes here is crowded. To beat this rush I try leaving earlier in the day to get a less crowded bus, but in the evenings there’s not much we can do,” says T Raji, a commuter.
What makes things worse for commuters in the City is that unlike in Delhi and Mumbai, people do not follow a line system and there’s no upper limit on the number of passengers a bus can carry. This is one of the primary reasons for the buses being overcrowded as people continue to push and shove to get into the vehicle. “One of the basic rules in the City for boarding a bus is that men use the rear entry while board from the front. But during the peak hours, all of this is forgotten,” complains Satish K, an IT employee.
When Postnoon checked with the APSRTC officials they admitted that they were aware of the problem and were working on a solution. “We realise that there is a problem and have already added two extra buses on that route between 9.15am and 9.45 am. If the problem still persists, we will have to look for an alternative solution,” said Satya Narayana, regional manager, APSRTC.
For commuters, there is little other option. Although there are share autos, they charge double of what the buses do. While the bus fare from Ameerpet to Hitec City is Rs.9, share autos charge anything between Rs.15 to Rs.25. “The auto drivers charge exorbitant amounts and the rate is not fixed. We have to reach office on time, if not we get a loss of pay, hence we have to give in to their demands,” says Neha S, a dance teacher at Jubilee Hills.
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