Renting out Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses for weddings, picnics and pilgrimages to private parties seems to have given some sort of a financial succour to the ailing State-owned company.
But KSRTC officials say rates are not that attractive to woo more clients in Malabar. Plans are afoot to bring down the tariff. A final decision to revise the tariff fixed five years ago has to be taken by the top management, a senior official said, adding that the KSRTC Kozhikode depot earned less than ₹2 lakh in the past three to four months.
As of now, the KSRTC charges ₹10,000 for 4 hours or 100 km for AC buses; ₹15,000 for 6 hours or 150 km, ₹18,000 for 8 hours or 200 km and ₹21,000 for above 8 hours. For non-AC buses, the rates are ₹7,000 for 4 hours and 100 km; ₹10,500 for 8 hours and 200 km and ₹16,000 for above 8 hours and 200 km.
KSRTC Zonal Manager K. Mohammed Safarulla said the buses that are hired included low-floor AC buses. Only spare buses are provided for private purposes. Normal schedules are not affected by the service, he said.
Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), Kozhikode depot has a fleet of 15 low-floor AC buses. Many people prefer AC low-floor buses for convenience and comfort. There are few takers for non-AC and ordinary buses. The fares for the buses are calculated from depot to depot. Diesel will be filled from depots. The KSRTC also provides a driver for private functions.