Coming soon: KSRTC's longest daily bus services from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad & Puri

Currently, the longest KSRTC routes are Bengaluru-Mumbai and Bengaluru-Shirdi, each spanning about 1,000 km.
Last Updated : 10 July 2024, 22:55 IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is planning to launch its longest daily services from Bengaluru to Ahmedabad and Puri (Odisha), using European-style, air-conditioned sleeper buses. Both cities are approximately 1,500 km from Bengaluru. 

Currently, the longest KSRTC routes are Bengaluru-Mumbai and Bengaluru-Shirdi, each spanning about 1,000 km. 

The expansion plan comes in the wake of strong demand and competition from the private sector. 

"There is strong demand for bus services from Bengaluru to far-off places. The KSRTC has the largest fleet of Volvo buses and has a proven track record. We want to explore new routes," KSRTC Managing Director V Anbukumar told DH

Many private operators already run bus services from Bengaluru to far-off destinations, including Ahmedabad, Indore, Bhopal, Jaipur, Jaitaran, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer. 

At a little over 2,000 km, the Bengaluru-Jaisalmer bus service is India's longest. 

There is, however, no direct bus service from Bengaluru to Puri, a pilgrimage town in coastal Odisha. 

To launch these new services, the KSRTC needs approvals from road transport corporations from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, the states along the routes. "Talks have been initiated with the RTCs and are at an advanced stage. We are hopeful for a positive outcome soon," Anbukumar noted. 

RTCs usually do not raise objections if limited services are launched. 

The KSRTC is confident that these new routes will be profitable, similar to its existing long-distance routes, which are considered flagship services. 

It will deploy two buses for each route, with one making the onward journey and the other the return. There will be no toilet facility in the bus. The fare will likely be Rs 2,500. The travel time will be 27 to 28 hours. 

Ambaari Utsav

Under the Ambaari Utsav brand, the KSRTC is procuring 20 multi-axle, AC sleeper buses. Tenders were called in May and the contract will be finalised shortly. "Only one company participated in the tender. We are evaluating it and will finalise it soon," an official in the know said. 

Each new bus is expected to cost Rs 1.8 crore, up from Rs 1.7 crore in 2022, due to changes in technology and increased labour and material costs. 

"The idea behind adding more Ambaari Utsav buses is to augment the fleet and meet increasing passenger demand. We need more buses on some routes because the earnings are encouraging," the official explained. 

The KSRTC currently has 474 Volvo buses and will phase out 60 vehicles by March 2025. 

The Ambaari Utsav buses have new body and shape, and additional features compared to the Ambaari Dream Class. 

The remaining 16 new AC sleeper buses will serve routes to Mangaluru, Kundapur, Murdeshwar, Hyderabad and Ernakulam. Coastal Karnataka routes (Mangaluru, Kundapur and Murdeshwar) alone requiring 10 to 12 buses. 

The KSRTC is also adding 20 AC seater buses to meet demand on the Tirupati, Ernakulam, Kundapur and Mangaluru routes. According to the official, most of the current seater buses have outlived their utility and need to be replaced. 

The operator received a prototype bus last week. 

Published 10 July 2024, 22:55 IST

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