Gone are the days when there were no takers for back-seats in RTC buses. In fact, they are much in demand after APSRTC has announced a discount for those opting to book them. The move is intended to bolster the sagging revenues by increasing the occupancy rate (OR) in Amaravati, Garuda, Vennela, Indra and super Luxury services.

Photo : Rakesh

The state-owned transport company has announced 20 per cent discount on the basic fare of tickets booked through the online passenger reservation system (ORPS). The new system took effect on Sunday. Often times, the passengers skip the last two rows in buses to avoid bump rides. Worried about dipping revenue due to low OR, RTC authorities have hit upon the idea of actually turning this to their advantage during summer vacation for students.

Soon after the new policy was announced, RTC received an overwhelming response from the passengers. Many people have booked tickets in the last rows for their journey on Sunday and Monday. Interestingly, most of the last row tickets are being filled faster than the others. The discount is valid up to June 10.

“As RTC buses are popular as the safest vehicles, many would like to travel by them during the summer vacation. The offer will help achieve maximum occupancy in all the buses,” said RTC managing director N Sambasiva Rao.

Deputy traffic manager of Vijayawada region John Sukumar said passengers can travel to Hyderabad from Vijayawada in Amaravati AC service by paying just Rs 550 for seats in the last rows. The fare for the front row tickets for the same service is Rs 668. “A discount of Rs 117 will be given on the base fare and the remaining charges such as toll fare, reservation fee and service charge will remain unaffected,” he explained.

 Earlier, passengers, who were allotted last row seats, would opt for travelling by private buses. Now the special discount will make them happy, said APSRTC executive director G Jaya Rao.

After attracting passengers with sweets in AC services, RTC is now hoping to increase the OR by extending discount of ticket fares, Jaya Rao and disclosed that the busy routes such as Vijayawada-Hyderabad, Vijayawada-Chennai and Vijayawada-Bengaluru have 100 per cent OR. Besides, as all school managements have declared summer holidays from April 23 to June 6, the RTC management is confident of improving the revenues.