ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Govt buses to be let out to cut losses: Private operators to pay a fixed amount, says Official

government buses

Govt buses to be let out to cut losses: Private operators to pay a fixed amount, says Official

With a fleet strength of close to 700 buses, the transport department has been struggling to cope with operational losses for some time

Kinsuk Basu | Published 01.02.24, 06:26 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File image

The state government will allow private operators to run some of its buses to cut down operational losses, officials in the transport department said.

The officials said they had been told that running buses on some routes led to a loss of around Rs 2,000 a day.

ADVERTISEMENT

In such a situation, the state government has decided to let private operators run its buses on the condition that the fares remain unchanged and they pay a fixed amount to the government every month. The operators will also have to submit a security deposit for each bus.

The transport department will be responsible for the maintenance of the buses.

“The idea is to ensure better service to commuters, who often complain of buses disappearing from the roads by night,” transport minister Snehasis Chakrabarty told Metro.

“It’s a win-win for the government. The operators will run buses for longer hours
for their profit and the commuters will be able to avail themselves of the services,” he said.

With a fleet strength of close to 700 buses, the transport department has been struggling to cope with operational losses for some time. The government decided to hire drivers and conductors on contract with fixed salaries to try and improve work ethics, an official said.

“These steps started showing results. But we realised it is almost impossible to plug the revenue leaks because a section of conductors was not collecting fares,” said an official in the finance department.

“The state transport undertakings were asked to fend for their operational costs through ticket sales. But they failed,” he said.

While going through the transport department’s books, officials realised that many conductors and drivers were more keen on finishing the required number of trips early than offering services to commuters.

At night, many government buses don’t stop at designated stops to pick up passengers. Some of the conductors allegedly collect fares without issuing tickets.

“A number of conductors and drivers said the daily loss after running a bus was close to Rs 2,000. We realised that if we do not run these buses, the government would be able to save the amount,” said an official in the transport department.

“By letting them out, the government will stand to gain some money every
month and commuters will benefit.”

The buses that will be let out will ply on the assigned routes through the day,
and not just during rush hours, the tender document states. The routes will cover the city proper and its adjoining areas.

“This is a good proposal. But given the small number of buses that will be up for the public-private deal, we aren’t sure whether the demand for buses among commuters will be met,” said Rahul Chatterjee, of the Bus Minibus Samannoy Samity.

Last updated on 01.02.24, 06:30 AM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata