Not many takers for KSRTC buses with toilet, pantry

Not many takers for KSRTC buses with toilet, pantry

The KSRTC may not add more of the multi-axle Airavat buses with in-built toilet and pantry to its fleet, as there are not many takers for these specialised vehicles.

After a pompous launch in 2012, the unique services - Airavat Bliss and Airavat Superia - were flagged off by the then Transport Minister R Ashoka.

Airavat Bliss has a pantry and a chemical toilet facility, while Airavat Superia has only chemical toilets. These buses were plying on the Bengaluru-Chennai and Bengaluru-Tirupati routes in 2012.

However, with hardly any takers, only two Airavat Bliss buses are plying on the Bengaluru-Mysuru route as a Flybus to the Kempegowda International Airport.

Rajender Kataria, Managing Director of KSRTC, told Deccan Herald, “The occupancy in these buses is less and as of now, there is no plan to add more of these, because of high operational costs and less demand.”

To break even, KSRTC is planning to reduce the fares of these buses. The cost of operating these buses is slightly higher than that of other buses.

KSRTC officials say that many passengers are not comfortable using toilets on board as unlike trains, where the waste gets disposed of on the tracks, buses with chemical toilets carry the waste in a holding unit under the bus. It has to be disposed of periodically.

Passengers also do not use the pantry, though there is a microwave facility. The buses are equipped with WiFi connectivity and individual TV sets.

At the time of launching the buses, the fare for the Bengaluru-Tirupati buses with pantry and a chemical toilet was Rs 450-Rs 500 for one day’s journey.

As for the food, the passengers could choose the preferred item from the menu available at counters or online while booking the tickets by paying an additional Rs 125. The menu included pongal, sandwich, fruit salad, fruit juices, coffee and tea.

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