To give a boost to the luxury segment of bus services, ASTC along with Volvo bus services, today inaugurated two new Volvo B-11R multi-axle I-Shift buses. With this, John Travels became the first private bus operator from the Northeast region to start state-of-the-art multi-axle coach service. The company has invested around Rs 2.8 crore to procure the buses.
Managing Director of Assam State Transport Corporation, AP Tiwari pointed out, ‘ASTC is facing all sorts of problems from financial to human resources. We are bringing PPP (Public Private Partnership) model buses services to attract more passengers as we constantly need to compete with the railway services.’
On the poor maintenance of old buses, Tiwari said, ‘The pay commission for the budget of ASTC was last revised in 2012. But the increase in the cost of diesel and parts has increased since then. So, it becomes tough financially to repair all the old buses. Hence, we are focusing on Public Private Partnership Bus services, which might boost the revenue collection of ASTC.’ He welcomed more private owned bus services for the PPP model.
He stated there should be an environment of competition between the state-owned bus service and the private-owned bus services, rather than a monopoly of the services. Also, he informed that Mercedes Buses might possibly ply from September in the State.
Commenting on the bus scene of the region, Pranjal Dutta, owner of John Travels said that he is very excited. ‘I am happy that with the betterment of the roads, we are able to reach to the last mile. Besides, better roads enable us to start luxury services. We hope that the NH widening project is completed soon to aid us to offer even better service. There are a lot of plans, I hope to be able to reveal the same in the near future.’