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Bengaluru-bound SETC buses losing out to comfy KSRTC

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TRICHY: People travelling to and from Bengaluru from Trichy have been plumping for Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses more than the fleets of Tamil Nadu’s State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) thanks to the sophisticated experience, better maintenance and punctuality that the former has been offering.
While KSRTC buses have multiple seating options including sleeper facility, SETC has been offering only semi-sleeper option thereby forcing passengers to prefer the state-run buses only when left with no option. Since Trichy has only one train service connecting Bengaluru and air fares being prohibitive, a large number of travellers heading to the IT capital have been relying on bus services. With the number of ITeS and IT firms booming there, the need for bus connectivity to Bengaluru is on the rise. Among the bus operators including TN’s SETC, Karnataka’s KSRTC and private omni buses, passengers pick KSRTC for the kind of sophistication they receive.

While SETC operates about 20 services a day, KSRTC on an average operates only about 10 a day mostly during the night. While tickets for KSRTC buses sell like hot cakes, SETC buses find takers only during peak season and long weekends. “KSRTC is my first preference as the buses are well-maintained and comfortable to travel. They also maintain punctuality,” said S Yazhini, a Trichy native studying in Bengaluru.
Though the fares in SETC were quite low compared to KSRTC’s, the recent revision in ticket fares of SETC has put them both on the same slab. While KSRTC provides AC sleeper and non-AC sleeper services even during weekdays, SETC is yet to introduce sleeper service between Trichy and Bengaluru. Tickets for May 19 (Sunday) substantiates the claims of passengers. While tickets for five of the 10 services of KSRTC are sold out, they are available on all the 19 bus services of SETC. Since passengers prefer sleeper buses in the absence of adequate train services, local people have urged the SETC to introduce sleeper class buses. “We have introduced AC sleeper buses to Chennai recently. Soon, Bengaluru will also get one sleeper class bus,” an official source with SETC said.

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