The State Transport Corporation (STC) is planning to introduce 14 new AC bus routes, which will connect New Town and Sector V with various parts of the city and suburbs. The buses will be operated through private parties. “The state has found that the demand for AC buses in the city is increasing, but running it on its own will put pressure on the exchequer,” said a source.
The new routes are likely to be launched in February, an official said, adding that the minimum fare for a distance up to 5 kilometres will be Rs 20 and for every 5 kilometres thereafter one has to shell out Rs 5 more. The fare for travelling 40 kilometres will be Rs 55.
On being asked about putting thrust on connectivity with New Town, an official said that several new offices were being shifted to New Town. “Particularly, the IT sector people often complain about poor connectivity with New Town. The terminals of five routes will be New Town and buses will ply to Joka, Garia, Baruipur, Rabindra Sadan and Howrah’s Maurigram. Buses from Sector V will ply to Barasat and Barrackpore. Similarly, the SDF terminal at Sector V will also help people in this locality to travel to Barasat, Bally, Dunlop and Serampore.
A new route connecting Haridevpur and Ecospace at New Town is also being planned, other than ones from Akra Phatak to Karunamoyee and Howrah station to Kolkata station. The buses will be coloured blue and white.
An official said that they would start the operations with 10 AC buses initially. “Depending upon the response, the number can be increased. The private operators need to operate the buses for 24 days a month, otherwise they will have to pay a penalty to the state transport corporation (STC) — Rs 1500 per day,” the official added.
The state government, however, is unwilling to operate its own fleet considering the cost involved. So, the permit will be held jointly by STC and the private operator.
The fare will be at par with the STC buses, the official said.
Source: Times of India