Railways, bus operators cash in on huge rush

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Passengers, especially students and salaried class, are making a beeline to ST bus depots, private luxury bus termini and railway stations to reach their home towns ahead of Diwali.Considering the huge rush, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has planned over 1,600 additional bus trips from Pune to various destinations. Expecting at least 50% rise in passenger flow, private luxury bus transporters are also adding more vehicles into their fleet.

MSRTC’s additional buses will depart from CoEP grounds and Katraj starting from Wednesday and the service will continue till October 29. As many as 930 buses are scheduled to leave from CoEP grounds, 350 from Katraj and 320 from Pimpri Chinchwad to clear the festive rush.

“A total of 30% bus trips have already been booked in advance. About 10% more bus trips have been planned this festive season as against last year,“ sources in MSRTC said.

When contacted, an official from MSRTC said, elabo rate arrangements have been put in place to ensure that passengers do not face any hardship during the festive season. “For the first time this year, extra buses will be added to the fleet to destinations like Kolhapur, Sangli and Solapur. The advanced booking facility is available at authorised counters and online portal,“ the official said.

Private transporters said they were expecting at least 50% rise in the number of passengers this Diwali weekend. About 500 luxury buses travel every day from Pune to cities in Vidarbha, Marathwada and also to neighbouring states like Bengaluru, Hyberabad, Ahmedabad and Goa.

The railways, too, have scheduled over 10 additional special trains during this festival season in addition to their daily trips. However, passengers have claimed that berths in most trains, especially those travelling to the northern stated, have already been booked. An official said maximum possible steps have been taken to ensure that more people could travel during rush days.“More coaches have also been added to regular trains,“ he said.

Source : TOI