Amritsar (Urban Transport News): The Amritsar BRTS service witnessed over 50 percent reduction in passengers while introducing fares on Sunday. The Punjab Bus Metro Society (PBMS) started charging fare from passengers after completion of three months free rides. The PBMS is expecting an increase in ridership in working days.
They witnessed comparatively less footfall on Sundays. Most of the buses seen fewer passengers plying on Verka-railway station and bus stand-Golden Gate routes. The buses plying in other routes i.e. from the railway station to India Gate also witnessed low ridership. The Bus Drivers and other BRTS employees are worried about the sustainability of the project.
According to the drivers plying the BRTS, a bus from Verka to India Gate consumes fuel worth Rs 6,500. All buses need at least Rs 2.5 lakh every day for fuel. It needs Rs 5 lakh daily income for sustainability. If people don’t opt for the bus service, the government should make some efforts for its sustainability.
Most of the BRTS employees, especially workers at ticket windows, are worried about the low ridership and they hoped that the ridership will be revived in the next few days. According to them, the BRTS is cheap and comfortable than the other modes of public transport. It saves time as the ride is hurdle free for passengers. The BRTS buses are air-conditioned and people will defiantly prefer it in scorching summer.
It was expected that the ridership would suffer in the first week. It will revive. Moreover, we have several offers for the students and daily passengers. Hopefully, the footfall will increase in a few days”, said Inderjeet Singh Chawla, CEO of PBMS.
The second phase of Amritsar BRTS was launched in January this year. It was expected that around 80,000 passengers would travel on BRTS buses daily.