Hyderabad: The number of commuters in the city travelling by TSRTC buses has decreased. An RTI query has found that the number of bus passes issued by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has gone down by 32 per cent in the Hyderabad zone since 2014.
In 2014-15, the total number of bus passes issued by the TSRTC stood at 44,47,854 but it went down to 30,03,149 in 2019-20.
The largest group of pass-holders are daily commuters accounting for 57 per cent of the total passes issued. Their numbers stood at 24,78,549 in 2014-15 but it has come down to 16,23,939 in 2019-20. The second-highest pass-holders (31%) are students. In 2014-15, around 16,82,938 students had bus passes but the number has come down to 12,35,192 in 2019-20.
In 2019-20, TSRTC started issuing special passes for patients undergoing dialysis. A total of 605 such passes have been issued to citizens in the Greater Hyderabad zone.
Ratnam Chaitanya, an activist who filed the RTI, said, “The decrease in the number of passes issued by the TSRTC shows that people now prefer private vehicles or to travel in share autos. The increase in the number of private vehicles can lead to an increase in the number of vehicles on the city roads and also, an increase in pollution.”
TSRTC's revenue from these passes has also dwindled and it collected over Rs. 196 crores in 2019-20 while in 2014-15 its earning was Rs. 251 crore. Earlier, the TSRTC earned Rs. 3.5 crore every day in the Greater Hyderabad zone but the pandemic has hit business.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TSRTC has not resumed bus services while the Metro Rail resumed services on 7 September. “Employees from the service sector have started commuting but public transport has not resumed fully. Metro doesn't link all parts of the city. Some female passengers have even started travelling in the front seat of the auto-rickshaw which earlier was unusual,” said Ratnam Chaitanya.
The TSRTC has issued a total of 2,30,87,132 passes since 2014-15 while they have earned a revenue of Rs. 14,25,19,62,109 during the period.