The two double-decker monsters which the Kerala Road State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) had withdrawn from its fleet six years ago are to be reintroduced in Thiruvananthapuram city soon as tourist-friendly buses for students and tourists as part of a heritage city tourism package.

The double-decker buses will be available for tourists during day time by paying Rs-4000/- for eight-hour long city tour. A tour commencing from East Fort and linking historical and places of interest in the capital like Museum, Science and Technology Museum, Veli tourist village, Sanghumughom, Kovalam and back via Eenchakkal to East Fort is what has been worked out.

Students and tourists can choose an alternative option of 4 hours trip by paying Rs-2500/-. These buses can accommodate 77 passengers at a time in the upper and lower decks.

The tourism industry has been demanding the introduction of open-roofed double-deckers in the city for sightseeing like that in New York, London, Washington and Dubai. There was a proposal by the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC) when K.B. Ganesh Kumar was the Transport Minister to convert these two double-deckers into tourist-friendly ones. The DTPC had suggested daily tours from Kovalam to places of interest in the capital.

Eight Hours Trip: Rs-4000
Four Hours Trip: Rs-2500
Phone: 0471-2461013 / 2463799 / 9447071021.

(Prices may be different now)

It was in 1960 that the government presented 10 double-decker buses of British make to the KSRTC. The buses, which had fluid clutches and automatic lubrication instead of clutch pedal, operated on the Peroorkada, Sasthamangalam, Medical College and Sanghumughom routes. After 28 years, the first double-decker was scrapped in 1988 due to mechanical snags and non-availability of spare parts. By 1990, all the double-deckers were withdrawn from service.

The KSRTC purchased two new Indian-made double-decker in 1990 following pressure from several quarters. In 2005 they were also withdrawn as the Central Motor Vehicle Rules did not permit plying stage carriers which were over 15 years old. Since then, the KSRTC has been seeking exemption from road tax to run them as “tourist-friendly” buses for sightseeing in the city. The KSRTC will have to pay road tax on the basis of the number of seats.

The double-decker can be booked in advance by paying the amount at the KSRTC’s Assistant City Transport Office functioning at East Fort.

Phone: 0471-2461013 / 2463799 / 9447071021.

Inputs From: The Hindu