Pune: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has introduced ‘Shivshahi’ air-conditioned buses between Pune and Kolhapur after the failure of Shivneri buses on the route.
The high cost of tickets for the Shivneri led to its failure. Officials claim that Shivshahi bus services have been priced more economically. MSRTC shut its Pune-Kolhapur Shivneri bus service recently, within three months of resuming operations, owing to poor response.
“The Shivshahi bus is more comfortable and its fare is less than the earlier Shivneri bus. Earlier, passengers paid Rs 550 from Kolhapur for Shivneri bus, now they will pay Rs 365 to 370,” said a senior official of MSRTC. The first bus will depart from Swargate, Pune to Kolhapur on August 28 at 5 am. The last bus for Kolhapur will depart at 11.30 pm. The MSRTC has set up two LED screens with mobile charger points on this bus. The bus has GPS tracking system and fire detection suspension system also.
The Pune division started Pune-Kolhapur bus service last December. However, it was discontinued on March 7, 2017. Repeated letters from Kolhapur division, requesting to lower the fares to take them at par with private players, were ignored.
Sources from MSRTC said, “The Pune-Kolhapur route has huge business potential, but the state transport was under pressure from private players regarding ticket prices.
However, the state transport did not bring down the ticket prices to be at par with private players. Let’s hope for the best. We reduced the price because of private operators and passengers will enjoy the luxury bus.”