Public transport which had been suspended since the announcement of the nationwide lockdown in March may resume operations soon in Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra Pradesh government is reporteldy making efforts to start RTC buses from May 18 despite double digit growth in Covid-19 cases in the last two weeks. The tally of Covid-19 cases in the state touched 1,980 with 45 deaths. According to sources, the State Public Transport Department (PTD) to ensure below 50 per cent passenger occupancy in buses after the Covid-19 induced lockdown ends and services resume. The RTC buses are likely to be rolled out in green and orange zones even if the lockdwon is extended by the central govenment beyond May 17.
The Andhra Pradesh Public Transport Department has decided to increase the bus fare by 40-50 per cent, a move which will further burden people as many lost thier livelihood due to the pandemic. The Public Transport Department had reportedly sent a proposal to the Andhra Pradesh government to hike the bus fares.
The PTD is reportedly taking all possible measures to ensure that the corona virus doesn’t spread. The buses will be sanitised before and after travel. One person will be allowed on one seat to maintain physical distancing. Two people will be allowed in case of three seating.
Currently, the PTD is operating ‘Palle Velugu’ buses in rural hinterlands, super luxury and ultra delux buses for distant travel. The Palle Velugu buses have a seating capactiy of 60, the PTD is likely to allow ony 34 seat occupancy. Since the buses will run half their capacity, the PTD has proposed to the government to hike the bus fares by 40-50 per cent.