Mangaluru, March 16, 2020: While taking precautions against the spread of Covid-19, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation has cut down its premium, non-AC sleeper, Rajahamsa and express bus services from Mangaluru to Bengalaru and Kasaragod following poor patronage.
The cut down in services is as per the direction of KSRTC Central office that wants bus services to be operated on priority.
KSRTC Mangaluru Divisional Controller S.N. Arun said the corporation has cut down 40 trips to Bengaluru. With respect to Kasaragod, it has reduced trips from 40 to 35. There is reduction in services to Mysuru and Dharmasthala also, he added.
Mr. Arun said Mangaluru division operates 350 bus services per day. Following reports of corona virus infection and directives asking people to restrict travel, he said the booking for premium, non-AC sleeper, Rajahamsa and express buses have reduced by nearly 50%.
Among the buses that has seen shortfall in booking includes the two KSRTC Flybus operating from Manipal and Kundapur to Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. There has been drop in booking for the AC sleeper buses to Pune and Ernakulam. The bookings for AC sleeper bus to Hyderabad is steady so far, he said.
An official from KSRTC Puttur division said there were less number of passengers from Puttur to Dharmasthala on Sunday. “We will study the situation for a couple of days before taking a decision on reducing the number of services,” he said. Of the nearly 550 services from Puttur division per day, KSRTC operates 60 bus services to Dharmastala.
Meanwhile, all buses from Mangaluru and Puttur division are being sprayed with disinfectant before they move out of depots. The drivers and conductors have been given masks and also a handbill that mentions about washing hands and other precautions.
“We have been made aware of the precautions and we will follow it,” said a conductor of a premium class bus.