The “Shivshahi” Effect: Pvt bus operators face 50% drop in bus frequency, 30% loss in business

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SANDEEP CHAVAN
dt@deshdoot.com– NASHIK: It’s not an El Niño effect which causes a temporary change in the climate of the Pacific ocean, in the region around the equator, but it’s a “Shivshahi” effect, which probably affecting private bus services, their operations and revenue generation as a whole. The woes of the private bus operators namely, Prasanna Purple, Konduskar, Neeta Volvo and other AC and non-AC private bus services came to fore following the recent 2-day strike of the MSRTC staffers.

It has been believed that, and the passengers still believe that private bus services are more comfortable and prompt in services than the MSRTC buses. Passengers still believe that private bus services are “costly but very comfortable and punctual”. However, with the launch of the semi-luxury air-conditioned (AC) Shivshahi bus service by the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) last year across the state by making it “cheaper and more comfortable”, the services of the private bus operators affected considerably. It is crystal clear from the drop in its income and trip frequencies when going through its pre-Shivshahi service period statistics.

Neeta Volvo, one of the prime private bus service providers in luxury segment, is currently charging Rs 500/person for travel to Mumbai as well as Pune from Nashik. The AC Shivshahi is charging around Rs 350/person for the same route.

“We are witnessing a drop of around 30% in our business on daily basis, primarily since the launch of the AC Shivshahi bus service.  Currently, we are arranging daily 4 trips to Mumbai and 2 to Pune from Nashik, from the earlier 8 trips to Mumbai and 4 trips to Pune from Nashik which is almost 50% drop in our operations,” informed Nitin Gunwant, booking officer, Saroj Travels, Mumbai Naka on Tuesday.

“To compete with the Shivshahi, it is not affordable for us to reduce bus fare, as Volvo provides high comfort with hi-tech support to our passengers, he said, adding that 40% of our business is affected mainly due to the AC Shivshahi bus service. Tour operator of Prasanna Purple private luxury bus service confessed that their 30% business is hampered on the short routes of Nashik-Pune-Mumbai by the arrival of the MSRTC Shivshahi buses.

“Our business on long routes is however remained unaffected as the passengers give more preference to comfort than the travel cost they bear,” he said on condition of anonymity.
The Konduskar Travels which offers Volvo sleeper services, arranges one trip daily to Kolhapur from Nashik by charging Rs 900/person bus fare. “There is no any adverse effect on our services, operations and earnings due to the AC Shivshahi bus service,” he added.

B S Mahale, conductor, AC Shivshahi, said that passengers are happy with the services provided by AC Shivshahi buses. Passengers are not complaining about the bus service rather they are more happy about it. The Shivshahi bus services are getting encouraging response from the passengers. Senior citizens, in particular, enjoying their journey with more comfort with 45 per cent concession for a seat and 30 per cent concession for sleeper coach offered by MSRTC.

Krishna Patharkar an 80-year old passenger travelling from Shivshahi on routes Nashik-Yeola said that he was thankful to MSRTC for offering senior citizens 45% concession in AC bus fare. It’s laudable decision which is now being implemented, he added.

Sharad Shelar, president, Nashik Jilha Taxi Maalak Sanghatana while speaking to Deshdoot Times said that there is no ‘Shivshahi effect’ on our taxi services as we charge from our passengers at a fixed rate. However, 90% of our taxi services are badly hit by the presence of Uber and Ola cabs. Frequency of out taxi services drastically reduced to 2/3 trips per day from Nashik. For Nashik-Thane taxi/cab/kaali-pivli services, we charge at a fixed rate of Rs 450/passenger, for Nashik-Dadar it is Rs 550, for Pune Rs 750 and for Shirdi, it is Rs 100 per passenger.

  • Passengers are happy, not complaining about Shivshahi
    Passengers are happy with the services provided by AC Shivshahi buses. Passengers are not complaining about the bus service rather they are more happy about it. The Shivshahi bus services are getting encouraging response from the passengers. Senior citizens, in particular, enjoying their journey with more comfort with 45 per cent concession for a seat and 30 per cent concession for sleeper coach offered by MSRTC.
                                              – B S Mahale, conductor, Shivshahi (Nashik-Yeola)

 

  • 45% concession to senior citizens, a good decision
    I am happy and thankful to MSRTC for offering senior citizens 45% concession in AC Shivshahi bus fare. It’s laudable decision which is now being implemented effectively.
                                                            – Krishna Patharkar, senior citizen

 

  • 30% drop in business; 50% drop in trip frequencies: Travel agent
    We are witnessing a drop of around 30% in our business on daily basis, primarily since the launch of the AC Shivshahi bus service. Currently, we are arranging daily 4 trips to Mumbai and 2 to Pune from Nashik, from the earlier 8 trips to Mumbai and 4 trips to Pune from Nashik which is almost 50% drop in our operations. To compete with the Shivshahi, it is not affordable for us to reduce bus fare, as Volvo provides high comfort with hi-tech support and added facilities to our passengers.
                                                                   – Nitin Gunwant, booking officer, Saroj Travels

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