State to roll out 116 new K-SWIFT buses
Buoyed by passenger response, the newly incorporated K-SWIFT under the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will deploy an additional 116 buses to operate long-haul services.
An announcement in this regard was made by Transport Minister Antony Raju during the inauguration of the renovation works of the KSRTC bus terminal in Changanassery on Tuesday evening.
Addressing the event, the minister also touched on plans to renovate all major KSRTC depots, including Pala, Kottayam and Changanassery, which had been in poor condition for a long time.
“The introduction of K-SWIFT buses has led to the regularization of ticket fairs for long-distance travel services, prompting private operators to follow suit and reduce fares. That 30 permits can be obtained and operated will also strengthen the KSRTC in terms of revenue and services,” the Minister noted.
Of the 976 buses disused in the worksites, no less than 200 buses have been sold through a three-tier procedure, while another batch of 250 buses are to be sold. Another batch of 300 such buses will be used for the Shops on Wheels program, he adds.
Cooperation Minister VN Vasavan, who chaired the event, said K-SWIFT buses have state-of-the-art facilities that even private buses could not boast of. “Projects like low-cost long-distance services, services to village roads and special services to tourist destinations are the way forward for KSRTC,” he said.
Changanassery MLA Job Michael, KSRTC Managing Director Biju Prabhakar and others were present.
The refurbishment of the terminal worth ₹5.15 crore will be completed in three phases over a period of 18 months. After erecting temporary bus shelters for passengers, the old bus station building will be demolished. This will be followed by the construction of a new building with improved passenger amenities, including a multi-level parking system.