KSRTC to roll out ‘Bike Express’ carving a niche segment

KSRTC's logistics initiative to transport bikes to different parts of the state offers a seamless yet cost-effective option. Photo: Special arrangement

It seems the cash-strapped KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) cannot stop inventing ideas to slog its way forward to become a profitable entity. The latest in a series is a logistics initiative to transport bikes to different parts of the state to offer a seamless yet cost-effective option.

KSRTC is modifying two buses initially to launch the service from both ends of the state and the KSRTC MD is keen on launching the service in the first month of the New Year. The public sector transport behemoth is receiving encouraging responses to its advertisement made in this regard recently, and women scooter riders are keener to avail of the service since they find it tough to negotiate the roads for long hours weathering the hot, humid conditions and dust.

“It’s especially useful for working women who face transfers, many of whom currently resort to taking scooters on rent at the transferred place,” said a senior KSRTC official.

Moreover, another advantage is that through the ramps fitted to the doors of the buses, the scooters can be rolled out directly to the road and the spot one wants, whereas when they are taken in trains, it is difficult to get them off the railway stations which invites extra costs also.

The KSRTC will make use of its wide network, connectivity and infrastructure across the state to give the best to the public with the new service.

“We are now studying the tariff of railways and private operators and will fix our tariff after that. KSRTC is not going for new buses to launch the service and instead will modify old buses, which will reduce the investment in such a service. Apart from ramps, hydraulic doors will be fitted, and the platform of the bus will be strengthened, which are the major modifications after removing seats. Our idea is to spread the service across the state by introducing more buses in response to demand,” the official associated with the project said.

KSRTC has named the service ‘Bike Express’ which comes after the hugely successful courier service. KSRTC also feels that it can successfully compete with private operators in the new domain. KSRTC also made a mark with its budget tourism service to destinations like Gavi and special budget services for festivals of places of worship across the state. They have been money spinners for the struggling public sector entity. They are earning as much as Rs 1.5 lakh per day for it.

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