It has been over three weeks since the APSRTC launched Pushpak – the airport liner buses to Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Shamshabad and the RTC authorities claim that they have been getting good response from passengers. The Corporation introduced these buses on December 15 from four different routes connecting to the airport after GMR Hyderabad withdrew its Aero Express buses in December second week. Announcing it as a convenience to passengers, the corporation launched 25 air-conditioned buses on four routes. Depending on the distance, the fare varies from Rs.100 to Rs.200 per head against the uniform fare of Rs.230 per head charged in Aero Express buses, irrespective of the distance. This is one of the major factors to earn more revenue, says RTC Greater Hyderabad zone Executive Director A. Koteswara Rao.
At present, these buses are generating a seat occupancy ratio of 60 per cent while over 75 per cent is required to achieve a breakeven. In a span of three weeks, they generated acceptable seat occupancy ratio and in the coming days, definitely they will turn the scale towards profits, says Mr. Rao. Though many, including a few RTC authorities were apprehensive about the launch of these buses citing low patronage to erstwhile Aero Express buses, Mr. Rao defends the Corporation’s decision. Aero Express operators reach to passengers was limited as they had only eight pick up points across the city. But RTC has 13 pickup points, besides the flexibility for passengers to board and alight buses at any stage en route to the airport. All these factors are helping in improving the seat occupancy ratio, he says. “Further, we have come out with an exclusive bus pass for airport employees. Once they start utilising these facilities, I am confident that it will further enhance the seat occupancy and revenue of Pushpak buses,” adds Mr. Rao.