Flybus meets with a tepid response

Inconvenient timings, high fares, cited as reasons for not attracting passengers

The ‘flybus’ service between Mysore and Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), has failed attract passengers even after six months Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) beginning its operation. The 40 seater bus on an average has 10 occupants on each trip.

The reason for the failure is said to be poor promotion, high fare, and inconvenient timings. Earlier the bus fare was fixed to Rs 1,000, but as there were no takers, KSRTC reduced it to Rs 800. This too failed to attract passengers. Now, KSRTC has altered the bus schedule.

On August 14, 2013, KSRTC introduced Flybus to connect Mysore with the KIA. Two trips were fixed from each destination everyday (2 trips to KIA and 2 to Mysore). According to officials, so far it has carried only 7,000 passengers till date.

When the service was commenced, KSRTC officials had claimed that it would be a big hit among travellers from Mysore. Moreover, it would also be helpful for those lone commuters from Mysore who had to shell out Rs 2,500 or more to take a taxi to reach KIA.

A KSRTC official on condition of anonymity said that in the beginning there were only eight passengers on an average per trip. “We hoped that it will pick in the coming days. However the demand has not picked up according to our expectations,” the official added.

The official said that a drastic dip in flight traffic due to global recession was one of the reasons that there were no takers for the bus service. Another factor was the bus timings. Most passengers are still uncertain about the timings, after the schedule was changed recently.

B S Prashanth, President of Mysore Travel Agents Association said that the changed bus schedule was inconvenient. “For a businessman, time is money. If KSRTC changes the timings often, and doesn’t bother to intimate the tour operators, how will the service become a hit?,” he said.

Mallikarjuna Reddy, Divisional Traffic Controller, Bangalore said that the demand had increased from “8 to 16 passengers” per day. He maintained that the demand would increase “The demand will significantly increase on upcoming season,” he maintained.

Interestingly, the services failed to pick up even during the Dasara celebrations. According to the data available, from October 5 to October 14, 2013 , only 72 have travelled in the bus.

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