Exclusive bus service for Chandigarh government school students

June 25th, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 25 (IANS) The Chandigarh administration is all set to launch an exclusive bus service for government school kids by next month. This service - the first in the country - is being offered to them at a subsidized rate compared to private school buses.
“This is a facilitation scheme and not a revenue generating exercise, so the fare structure would be very nominal and less than what other private bus operators are charging,” said Vandana Disodia, secretary of the state transport authority, Thursday.

She said the monthly fare will be kept very nominal at Rs.380 per student against Rs.600 to 700 that is being charged by private bus operators.

Christened “Micro School Escort”, this bus service will cover the tri-city area consisting of Chandigarh and the neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula.

The final report of this proposed bus service has been sent to the home department administration for their final nod.

Disodia added: “We want this service to benefit both school children and bus operators. Since bus operators have agreed to the nominal fare, we will offer other benefits to them such as waiving off their permit fee for five years.

“We will allow the bus operators to gain extra money by displaying educative and innovative advertisements on the buses. They cannot promote any obnoxious material but they can advertise material that helps in promoting creative ideas, sports, literature, traffic safety rules and a ban on polythene bags.”

Parents and students in the city welcome this initiative.

“Earlier, I went to drop and pick up my children from school but now they have started going on their bicycles. However, in the wake of an increasing number of road accidents I remain worried until they return home,” Radhika Malhotra, a housewife based here told IANS.

“This bus service will be a big help and we are certainly going to avail of it,” said Malhotra.

“It is very difficult to pedal a bicycle under the scorching sun and things become even worse during the winter. If we use public transport then we have to waste our time while waiting for the bus as their timings are usually very odd,” said a visibly happy Anmol Sharma, a class 9 student of a government school here.

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