AC buses are RTC’s ‘white elephants’

With temperatures soaring, a few more commuters are opting for the cool comfort of air-conditioned low-floor buses operated by APSRTC in the city. While the average occupancy rate of these buses is 55 per cent, the figure has risen to 70 per cent in the first half of the month. But that’s precisely where the joyride on these buses terminates in a city that has an abysmally low number of AC public transport buses, compared to other metropolitan and major cities of the country: Only 84 in APSRTC’s fleet of 3,800 buses. They are at present run on seven routes in the city.

APSRTC officials, however, reasoned that operating AC buses do not make for sound economics, thanks to few passengers taking them, which again is largely due to the relatively high ticket rates.
APSRTC executive director Nageshwara Rao said. “AC buses are in fact a white elephant for the Corporation. The occupancy rates might have improved slightly this month but otherwise it is not up to the mark.” According to officials, these buses require 70 per cent occupancy to reach the break-even point, and near 100 per cent occupancy to start making profits.

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