Only 4,700 people travel on first 2 days as Punjab resumes bus service

PRTC has started to ply on the limited routes only

Only 4,700 people travel on first 2 days as Punjab resumes bus service

Passengers travel in a bus after the Punjab Government resumed public transport services, during the lockdown nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, in Amritsar. — PTI

Karam Prakash

Tribune News Service

Patiala, May 23

After having been off the road for two months, the state-run Pepsu Road Transportation Corporation (PRTC) has got a cold response from the passengers — during the first two days of resuming the service.

PRTC — which has already been facing losses since the coronavirus lockdown — has started to ply on the limited routes only.

Taking all the possible precautions, PRTC had started the services from Wednesday, however, only 4,700 people have travelled in the first two days.

On Wednesday, only 2,100 passengers travelled while on the following day the number increased to 2,600.

PRTC Managing Director (MD), Jaskiran Singh said that seating occupancy was very less on the first two days.

He said that it appeared people were still avoiding bus travel — fearing the infection of Coronavirus. People are said to have been opting for personal vehicles over the PRTC.

“Right now, the occupancy was not up to the mark as we are going in deficit only. I hope things would improve in the coming days,” he said.

MD informed that only 83 PRTC buses ran on the first day while 114 on the second day. He said that more buses would be pressed into service if the seating occupancy increased.

He said: “People are still not aware that bus services have already resumed. Moreover, they may not be knowing all the precautions — like sanitization and social distancing norms — are followed during the travel.”

The poor response from the travellers, seemingly, is a cause of concern for PRTC because it has already faced over RS 5O crore losses due to the lockdown.

MD Jaskiran said that situation was not good, but the number of passengers was likely to increase after May 30 when the lockdown would be lifted. 

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