Is TSRTC losing customers?: 45.75% fewer bus passes sold in 2021-22

In 2021-22, TSRTC sold a total of 24,128,28 bus passes. The highest number of bus passes sold in 2021-22 were student passes (13,886,58) followed by general bus passes (9,35,312), and passes for persons with disabilities (28,764).

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  18 Oct 2022 2:30 AM GMT
Is TSRTC losing customers?: 45.75% fewer bus passes sold in 2021-22

Hyderabad: The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) sold 45.75% fewer bus passes in 2021-22 compared to 2014-15, an RTI revealed. In 2014, TSRTC issued 44,47,854 bus passes. This figure went down to 24,128,28 in 2021-22.

The issuance of general bus passes, which are availed by daily commuters, has been affected the most. There is a decrease of 62.26% in general bus passes issued in 2021-22 as compared to 2014-15.

In 2021-22, TSRTC sold a total of 24,128,28 bus passes. The highest number of bus passes sold in 2021-22 were student passes (13,886,58) followed by general bus passes (9,35,312), and passes for persons with disabilities (28,764).

While TSRTC issued the highest number of student passes in 2021-22, there has been a considerable decrease in passes issued since 2014-15; 17.49% fewer passes were issued to students in 2021-22 compared to 2014-15.

The highest reduction in bus passes has been observed in passes issued for non-gazetted officers. Nearly 76.95% fewer passes were issued in the last eight years.

The RTI was filed by Sai Ratna Chaitanya, a transport researcher. "Overall reduction in pass users is a worrying trend because regular users may be leaving buses or choosing not to take passes because the upfront cost is high. Buses need to be affordable and accessible, and the increasing cost of passes is worrying," he said.

TSRTC MD V C Sajjanar said that the pandemic had a very big impact on TSRTC. "Despite the same, many people have opted for bus passes in 2021-22. This year too, the bus passes have been sold in good numbers till now. I will keep working towards making TSRTC buses more accessible,affordable and improving various facilities for the public," he said.


Less passes sold during pandemic

The RTI data shows that the number of general bus passes sold by TSRTC gradually decreased and reached its lowest in 2020-21 (the year of the pandemic). Only 6,71,570 bus passes were sold that year. The following year (2021-22) saw better numbers.

Student passes get pricey

"There is a worrying trend in the reduction in passes issued for students," Chaitanya pointed out.

TSRTC increased the price of monthly bus pass for students in June. The increase rate (as compared to 2013/15) is between 59%-76%. The monthly bus pass (for the greater Hyderabad zone) was priced at Rs. 130 (excluding taxes) in 2014. This was revised to Rs. 165 in 2019 which was recently revised again to Rs. 400. These bus passes are valid only for City Ordinary buses. The student route passes that vary on distance and are issued for 3 months are more expensive. A 22-km 3 month student route pass was priced at Rs 330 in 2019. Now, it is Rs 1350.

In 2022, so dar 8,29,890 student bus passes have been issued.

Private cars and metro

Prashanth Bachu, an urban transport specialist who works as an advisor for transit agencies and governments across the country, opined that the development of the Hyderabad metro could contribute to the decrease in the number of TSRTC bus passes sold.

"Many people use the metro and this may be one of the reasons why fewer bus passes are sold," he said and added, "Another major factor contributing to lower usage of TSRTC buses or any other form of public transport could be the rise in private vehicles and the easy availability of loans for the same."

Prashant further said that several college-going students now travel in their two-wheelers or cars.

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