The strike of the
employee unions of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation has put the
spotlight on the performance of SRTUs. Here is a 3-part series that looks at
the various aspects of SRTUs. In the first part, we look at the physical
performance of the SRTUs.

About 48,000 employees of Telangana State
Road Transport Corporation
began an indefinite strike on 05
October 2019 demanding a higher pay, merger with government, job security to
employees among other things. Incidents of suicides and suicide
attempts by those protesting have also been reported in the state. As the
protest by TSRTC employee unions in Telangana intensifies, in a three-part
series, we analyse the performance of the State Road Transport Undertakings (SRTUs)
in India. The first part looks into the physical performance such as fleet
size, vehicle productivity etc. over the years. In the second part, we look at
the staff related statistics and accidents and the last part will look into the
pecuniary aspects of SRTUs.

There
were 54 SRTUs in India as per the SRTU performance report of 2015-16

The Ministry of Road Transport &
Highways (MoRTH) publishes reports of SRTUs  for every financial year. The last such report
is available only for the financial year 2015-16. Every year, the number of
SRTUs which submit their report to the ministry is different. What has been
observed is that the number of SRTUs that have submitted the report has
increased gradually from 34 in 2009-10 to 47 in 2015-16. The data from the
latest 2015-16 report indicates that altogether there were a total of 54 SRTUs
in 2015-16 of which only 47 had submitted their reports. These 47 SRTUs
together had 1.42 lakh buses. Though the number of States/UTs in India is only
36, the number of SRTUs is more than 50 because some states have multiple
SRTUs. Tamil Nadu has 7 SRTUs followed by Maharashtra which has 6 and Karnataka
which has 4.

State Road Transport Undertakings_Number of buses owned by SRTUs

Even though the numbers suggest that
the total number of buses has increased over the years, it should be kept in
mind that the number of SRTUs that have submitted data has also increased during
this period. In order to make the numbers comparable, the arithmetic average
number of buses under each SRTU has been calculated and demonstrated in the
following chart. From this, it is clear that the average fleet size per SRTU
has actually decreased over the years.

State Road Transport Undertakings_Average fleet size per SRTUs

Maharashtra
SRTC has the largest number of buses followed by Andhra Pradesh SRTC and
Telangana SRTC

The fleet size owned by various SRTU
shows a decreasing trend since 2012-13. On an average, in 2015-16, each SRTU
owns only 3039 buses compared to an average of 3,599 buses per SRTU in 2010-11.
According to the 2015-16 report, Maharashtra SRTC had the largest fleet size
with 18,514 buses, followed by Andhra Pradesh with 12,012 buses. Telangana SRTC
had a fleet size of 10,391 buses- third highest in the country, which accounts
for a 7.3% share of the total fleet size of the 47 SRTUs in 2015-16. Before the
formation of Telangana state, United Andhra Pradesh SRTC had the largest fleet
size followed by Maharashtra SRTC. However, in terms of states, Maharashtra had
the highest fleet size if all the 6 SRTUs are taken into consideration.  SRTUs in north eastern states- Sikkim NT,
Arunachal Pradesh ST, Meghalaya STC, Mizoram ST and Tripura RTC have the lowest
fleet size and had a combined share of just 0.3% of total fleet size reported
in 2015-16. This could be because of the lower population in these states and
the difficult terrain.

A
little over 90% of the total number of buses owned by SRTUs are operational

Despite the SRTUs owning more than 1.4
lakh buses in 2015-16, only 1.29 lakh buses were operating. In other words, only
90.4% of the fleet size was operational & plying on the roads. Fleet
utilisation is calculated as the percentage of operational buses over fleet
size. Fleet utilisation had dropped from 92.4% in 2009-10 to 89.5% in 2013-14.
In 2015-16, fleet utilisation was 90.4%, less than the same in preceding year,
90.9% in 2014-15. Telangana SRTC had a fleet utilisation of 99.88% in 2015-16.
The average age of buses in Telangana as of 2015-16 was 7.12 years. A total of 17.21%
of the buses of Telangana SRTC operational in 2015-16 were over aged vehicles.

State Road Transport Undertakings_Percentage of fleet size being utilized

Vehicle
productivity of Telangana SRTC has been better than the national average
despite witnessing a decline in 2015-16

Fleet utilisation is a parameter which
gives an idea of quality of the vehicles and their maintenance. The average
number of revenue earning kilometres traversed by each bus per day is
determined in order to ascertain the productivity of vehicle. Vehicle
productivity across the country has reduced substantially over the years. From
323.3 km per bus per day in 2009-10, the productivity decreased to 305.59 km
per bus per day in 2015-16. While Maharashtra SRTC had recorded the maximum
revenue earning kilometres with over 21,066 lakh kilometres (because of the
larger fleet size), Telangana SRTC recorded 12,381.39 lakh revenue earning
kilometres in 2015-16. Vehicle productivity of Telangana SRTC stood at 325.56
kilometres per bus per day in 2015-16, better than the national average.
However, this is less than the 330.22 km per bus per day recorded in Telangana
SRTC in 2014-15.

State Road Transport Undertakings_Trend in vehicle productivity

Telangana
SRTC reported the largest number of passengers carried in 2015-16

Along with the Indian Railways, SRTUs
are the backbone of public transport in the country. A large chunk of the population
depends on public transport since it is cost effective and convenient in
addition to reducing carbon footprint.

The year 2011-12 witnessed the highest
vehicle productivity with 329.1 km per bus per day across SRTUs in India, in
the 7-year period between 2009-10 & 2015-16. The largest number of
passengers in buses under SRTUs was also recorded in the same year. 

During the 7-year period between
2009-10 and 2015-16, more than 2910 crore passengers travelled in the SRTUs in
2011-12, marking the highest number of passengers. In 2015-16, close to 2490
crore passengers have availed the services of SRTUs. In other words, an average
of 6.82 crore passengers per day availed the services of SRTUs across the country
in 2015-16.  Telangana SRTC alone carried
more than 329 crore passengers in 2015-16 (an average of 90 lakh a day), the
largest number of passengers for a SRTU in that year.  

State Road Transport Undertakings_No of passengers carried and occupancy ratio

Occupancy ratio is measured as
percentage of passenger kilometres performed to passenger kilometres offered.
This can also be inferred as the percentage of seats occupied against the seats
available. Occupancy ratio over the years has varied between 67.9% to 72.2%. In
2015-16, the occupancy ratio was 69.7%. Telangana SRTC’s occupancy ratio
increased from 69% in 2014-15 to 70.21% in 2015-16.

In the subsequent stories, we will look at the staff strength of each SRTU, accidents amount other things.

Featured Image:State Road Transport Undertakings

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