Patna, Dec. 14: The inter-state luxury coach bus service launched by Bihar State Road Transport Corporation (BSRTC) on Patna-Ranchi and Patna-Jamshedpur routes appears to be an instant hit because of shorter journey time than trains and competitive fare.
The duration of a train journey from here to Ranchi is around 10 hours. The luxury buses are covering the distance in seven hours.
The buses are fair on fare front as well (see graphics). The price of an AC three-tier train ticket and a luxury bus ticket between Patna and Ranchi is more or less same.
“I have booked a ticket for one of the luxury buses for going to Ranchi tonight. The bus fare is the same as an AC three-tier train ticket. Also, while trains take around 10 hours to complete the journey between Patna and Ranchi, these buses are taking only seven hours. Moreover, facilities like wi-fi and live TV among others are the added advantage with these buses. I decided to board one of the luxury buses tonight because of all these reasons,” said S.K. Mishra, a marketing executive based in Ranchi. He is a frequent traveller between the two state capitals.
Chief minister Nitish Kumar inaugurated the inter-state luxury bus service last Saturday. The buses are being run by BSRTC in partnership with Hyderabad-based Girish Infrastructure in public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
The successful run of the luxury buses can be gauged from the fact that they are running with over 80 per cent occupancy in every trip.
“We are operating two buses each on Patna-Ranchi and Ranchi-Patna route. One bus each is plying on Patna-Tata (Jamshedpur) and Tata- Patna route. We are glad that all the buses are running with over 80 per cent occupancy. Most of the tickets are being booked through our website (www.gauravluxury.com). Considering the response to our buses, we are expecting a sharp rise in advance booking in the next few days,” said Girish Kumar Sanghi, the chairman of Girish Infrastructure Private Limited.
Hyderabad-based Girish Infrastructure has delivered nine Mercedes and two Volvo buses to BSRTC till now. “We have plans to operate 500 buses in the future from Bihar to Jharkhand, Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh,” said Girish.
The 53- seater luxury coaches are powered by Euro III engine. They are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, including wi-fi, live TV, Dolby Digital audio-video DVD player, two LCD screens and mobile/laptop chargers with every seat.
The buses are highly popular on the social networking site — Facebook. A community named Patna had posted a picture of a fleet of the buses on December 11. Total 2,536 Facebook members liked the picture, 1,099 shared it and 883 comments, mostly in appreciation, have been made in three days.