ODD SCHEDULE – Shivneri to Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur stays off road

Blame On Low Income Per Trip Due To Poor Commuter Response
Air-conditioned Shivneri buses from Pune on three routes -Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur -will remain off road as the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has no immediate plans to resume the service.The service has been withdrawn in a phased manner because of poor commuter response and less income per trip. Sources said the MSRTC is examining revival options. However, the chances of a better Shivneri service on these routes were dim.

AC buses to Solapur were introduced about three months back, but they failed to attract passengers. So, it was suspended in May . The Sangli and Kolhapur buses have been running for a couple of years, but the passenger response has not been very encouraging. Except weekends and Mondays, overall occupancy used to remain very low, resulting in less ticket sale. This prompted the MSRTC to suspend both the routes.

The Shivneri buses on major inter-state routes like Hyderabad, Udaipur, Bengaluru and Goa have already been suspended. Except Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nashik, the service has not been able to attract passengers anythere for a longer period of time.Interestingly , MSRTC’s semi-luxury and ordinary bus trips have received a fairly good response on all the routes where Shivneri buses have failed. “The semi-luxury buses have good occupancy on Kolhapur and Sangli routes. In fact, we have introduced nonstop services on both the routes which has been appreciated by travellers,“ an MSRTC official said.

Frequent commuters said that higher fares and odd schedules could be the prime reasons. Praful Shelar, who often travels to Solapur, said that most private buses travel overnight, but Shivneri buses are scheduled in the day .“Why will travellers prefer a Shivneri then?“ Shelar asked.

Ajit Shinde, another commuter, said that MSRTC needs to adopt a policy that will allow the depots to go for flexi fares and flexi bus timings depending on the rush. “This sounds difficult but will benefit the corporation in a big way . All private buses operate on the same principle wherein more buses run during rush days, holidays, weekends and fares are slashed during odd seasons. Also, the MSRTC needs to publicize its initiatives to reach out to more number of passengers,“ Shinde said.

Trips to Borivali via Airoli down

Besides Sangli, Kolhapur and Solapur routes, the MSRTC recently cut down some Shivneri trips to Borivali via Airoli, due to poor passenger response. Instead, the buses now travel via Sion, which is an established route. At present, 9 trips are operational via Airoli, which is a comparatively shorter route than Sion.

Source : TOI