Indore: Sky buses failing to live up to promise

Indore: Sky inter-city and Inter-State buses are losing their promised service of quick and non-stop transit, as even in the small distance of around 60 km between Indore and Dhar, the bus stops 14 times! Sky buses which are charging premium fares were supposed to provide a better travelling experience to passengers, but now they are becoming just like normal buses, with the ‘charter’ tag attached to them.

Some marketing professionals and business persons who regularly travel from Indore to nearby districts have expressed apprehension that the much-touted Sky Buses, operated by Atal Indore City Transport Service Limited (AiCTSL), will soon become a failed attempt.

“I travel from Indore to Bhopal at least thrice a week and I had switched from using my personal car to the chartered bus with concern for the environment and better transport. However, the service is degrading and even travelling in a chartered bus is same as travelling in an ordinary bus now, so people like me with time limitations have no public transport options,” Jitendra Saluja, a marketing professional working in an MNC, said.

Another commuter who switched back to using his car, businessman Ankur Jaisinghani said, “I care about the environment but it seems that Sky Buses were just a fad that provided chartered service temporarily and now they are being run like any other bus which stops anywhere they like.

A HR professional Sonal Gangwani said, “It is sad that a public-private partnership concept that was unique and hopeful is failing miserably due to ignorance of officers because I had high hopes for Indore and Madhya Pradesh. Most of us have stopped using the bus because it is the same old routine of other buses and it even charges more.”

Furthermore, these extra stops only degrade the quality of service provided, it also pushes the travel time by 30 minutes at least. In cases, it even pushes the time by over 45 times in a short trip and by over an hour and a half in longer transits.

Sadly, the authorities are claiming that the service is a success. Caretaker at AiCTSL, Rohan Agrawal said,

“This is our country’s problem; everyone wants good service so we are stopping for them. Breaking, stopping and then again picking up acceleration eats up time. We got requests from passengers so we have increased stops,” Agrawal said.

Chief executive officer of AiCTSL Sandeep Soni did not know about the issue but promised to look into it.

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