Thiruvananthapuram: The buses run by KSRTC-SWIFT, the new wing of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) exclusively for long-distance services, were launched on Monday (April 11). The Bypass Rider Service, which will skip bus depots in traffic-dense towns and cities, was also flagged off.
On the first day the KSRTC-SWIFT operated four AC sleeper buses to Bengaluru from Thiruvananthapuram after 5.30 pm while six bypass rider bus services were flagged off from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode, Mananthavady and Kannur after 6 pm.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan flagged off the inaugural KSRTC-SWIFT service at the central bus depot at Thampanoor in Thiruvananthapuram. Transport minister Antony Raju who presided over the function will also flag off the return services of four AC sleeper buses from Bengaluru at 5.30 pm on April 12. All tickets for Kerala were completely booked within hours of the launch of booking services.
The tickets for Bengaluru-Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru-Ernakulam services for April 12 and 13 have also been booked.
Local Self-Government Minister M V Govindan released the 'Grama Vandi' (village vehicle) guide book, while Education Minister V Sivankutty inaugurated the KSRTC Swift website. Food and Civil Supplies Minister G R Anil gave away prizes to the passengers who booked their tickets for the inaugural service.
How the SWIFT service stands out
The main objective of the KSRTC-SWIFT is to ensure safe and clean services to passengers.
The buses will be operated by well-trained driver-cum-conductors. They will turn out in orange shirts and black pants. The staff uniform gels with the colour of the buses.
The drivers will also wear a pea cap.
The KSRTC-SWIFT symbol and the logo of the company sponsoring the uniform will be affixed on the dress. The Indian Oil Corporation has sponsored the uniform for the bus crew .
More space will be available for luggage and the crew members would assist the passengers in handling luggage in the bus.
Reservation can be done on the website www.online.keralartc.com and through “ente ksrtc” mobile app.
The new entity called KSRTC-SWIFT has headquarters at Anayara in Thiruvananthapuram and has acquired over 100 buses for its fleet.
Easter and Vishu KSRTC specials
Considering the heavy rush in view of the upcoming Vishu and Easter festivals, the KSRTC is planning to operate more services from Bengaluru to Kerala this week. Apart from the ordinary services, 34 super-class buses will be deployed during holidays.
Tickets are available through online reservation till April 18.
Additional long-distance and short-distance services will be operated on the main routes depending on the rush of passengers on April 12, 13 and on April 17 and 18.