A Study on Mini Bus Operations


By

Dr. T. Unnamalai
Asst. Professor
Dept. of Commerce
Bharathidasan University College
Perambalur
 


Abstract

Rural development is one of the major goals of our policy makers. The high rate of rural development of our country mainly depends upon both agricultural and industrial sectors. Both sectors need proper transportation facility. Our State government bus and private bus not enough to meet rural demand. In many of the villagers are in a position to walk to go to their destinations. Some of the rural population migrated.  Development of the rural area could be attaining by way of expansion and up gradation of rural transport. With this background the State government of Tamilnadu give permission to the private operators to operate mini bus where the normal bus is not serving (unserved area). They are permitted to cover a maximum distance of 26 K.m and they should cover 18 km of unserved area. The mini bus operators started their function since 1999. In this paper an analysis is carried out to know what are all the opportunities and challenges faced by the mini bus operators in Musiri Taluk.

Introduction

Rural development is one of the major goals of our policy makers. The high rate of rural development of our country mainly depends upon both agricultural and industrial sectors. Both sectors need proper transportation facility. Our State government bus and private bus not enough to meet rural demand. In many of the villagers are in a position to walk to go to their destinations. Some of the rural population migrated.  Development of the rural area could be attaining by way of expansion and up gradation of rural transport. With this back ground the State government of Tamilnadu give permission to the private operators to operate mini bus where the normal bus are not serve (unserved area). They are permitted to cover a maximum distance of 26 K.m and they should cover 18 km of unserved area. The mini bus operators started their function since 1999. In this paper an analysis is carried out to know what are all the opportunities and challenges faced by the mini bus operators in Musiri Taluk.

Study unit

For this study Musiri has been selected. The Musiri taluk is located in the riverbed of Cauvery. The Musiri is located in the central region of the Tiruchirapalli District. The Taluk has an area of 6626.930 Squ.K.m. The taluk has 64 villages. The total population of the Taluk was 221055 lakhs, out of which 110763 were male and 110292 were female. The average density of population is 334 per Squ.K.m. Nearly 60 percent of the population mainly depends upon the agriculture activities. Nearly 63 percent of the total population is literate. Musiri taluk though predominantly agricultural oriented, there is enormous scope for starting new small-scale industries using locally available resources. (Census 2001)

Methodology

For this study both primary and secondary data have been collected. Primary data have been collected from the 50 passengers, and the owners of the minibus. Secondary data have been collected from the census book.

Minibus operation in Musiri Taluk

Minibus scheme is very popular among the rural mass. The total number of seats available is 26. During the inception stage the colour of the minibus was yellow and red. But now the colour changed as green. The minibus operators are allowed to operate minibus in the rural areas for a total distance of 26 kilometres. Out of 26 K.m. the minibuses should cover 18 K.m in unserved rural areas and 8 K.m in the approval route. In Musiri there are 13 mini buses. The following table shows that the area and the number of buses operated in Musiri area.

Table-1

Number of buses and the rate of buses

s.no

Particulars

No of buses

Percentage

1

Musiri-Kulithalai

4

31

2

Musiri-Kolakudi

2

15

3

Musiri-Sitilarai

1

8

4

Musiri-Velakantham

2

15

5

Musiri-Vellakalpatti

1

8

6

Musiri-Vellore(via. College)

3

23

 

Total

13

100


With the above table, it is observed that there are 13 buses are operated from Musiri to some other parts of the taluks through some remote villages. There are 4 buses connecting some villages with Musiri and Kulithalai, 2 buses connecting some villages with Musiri and Kolagudi.2 buses connecting with Musiri and Kolakudi; only 2 buses connecting the villages with Musiri and velakanatham, one bus is connecting Musiri with vellakalpatti and 3 buses between Musiri via Government College to Vellore. Musiri to Kulithalai and Musiri via college route have more number of buses 4 and 3 respectively.

Table-2

Opinion from the bus operators regarding the operation of buses.

Particulars

Opinion

                                         Bus route

   

Kulithalai
No.    %

Kollakudi
No.    %

Chitalarai
No.   %

Vellapatti
No.   %

Velaganatham
No.       %

College
No.   %

Average
%

Towards area of operations

Satisfied
not satisfied

4        100
-         -

2       100
-         -

1       100
-         -

1       100
-          -

2          100
-                - 

3    100
-       -

100
-

Towards condition of road.

Satisfied
not satisfied

-        -  
4     100

-          -
2       100   

-          -
1       100

-          -
1        100

2         100
-          - 

-          -
3     100 

-
100

Regarding bus fare

Satisfied
not satisfied

3         75
1         25

 -        -
2        100

  -        -
1        100

-        -
1     100

1         50
1         50

1     75
2      75

25
75

Frequency of operation

Satisfied
not satisfied

4        100
-          -

 -      -
2      100

-        -
1      100

-        -
1       100 

1         50
1           50

-       -
3     100

25
75

Maintenance cost 

High
Moderate
Low

2        50
2        50

2      100
-         -
-         -

1      100
-         -
-         -

1       100
-          -
-          -

2         100
-            -
-             -

2     75
1     25
-       -

96
4
-


    Sourceprimarydata

With the above analysis, it is clearly observed that 100 percent of the respondent satisfied the area which they served. All of the transport operators feel that the condition of the road is very bad. 75 percent of the mini bus operators want to hike the fair and 25 percent of them satisfied with the bus fair. 25 percent of the mini bus operators satisfied with the frequencies due to the bad road conditions. 75 percent of the mini bus operators need to increase the frequencies only in the peek hours in order to overcome the loss. 75 percent of the mini bus operators feel that the maintenance cost is higher where as the remaining of them feel that it is moderate. The following table shows that the opinion from the passengers.

Table-3

Opinion of the beneficiaries

Particulars

Opinion

Students

Employees

Farmers

House wife

Others

Average

Frequencies

Satisfied
Not satisfied

18    64
10    36

8      57
6      43

10   24
32   76

3    23
10  77

-    -
3   100

34
64

Fare

High
Moderate
Low

13     46
7       25
8       29

2      21
6      43
5      36

23   55
16   38
3     7

5    38
8    62
-      -

-     -
-     -
3   100

32
34
34

No of buses available

Satisfied
Not satisfied

3        14
24       86

5       36
9       74

7      17
35    83

10   77
3    33

2     67
1     33

40
60


           Source primary data

With the help of the above table, it is observed that 64 percent of the beneficiaries are not satisfied with the frequency of the operations. They expect more frequency and want to increase the number of buses during the peak hours. During peak hours the buses are over crowded. Nearly 64 percent of the respondent feels that the fair is not higher.60 percent of the respondent are not satisfied with the number of buses available. They want to increase a number of buses during the peak hours. It is also observed that the beneficiaries also want a separate bus stand.  

Challenges faced by the mini bus operators

* Condition of the road is very bad

Nearly 18 k.m the mini bus operators should serve in the unserved area. Nearly 75 percent of the road where the mini bus operated is very bad in condition. In some places there is no road at all. Passengers and the operators are also need good road condition.

* Maintenance cost is higher

Due to poor road condition the cost for maintaining the bus is increasing.

* Diesel consumption is also higher

Diesel consumption is also increasing due to poor and bad road condition.

* Bus fare is low

The mini bus operators want to hike the bus fare. Due to bad road condition the maintenance cost and the diesel cost is increasing day by day. The bus fare presently charged by them is not enough to meet the requirements. So they want to hike the price.

Opportunities faced by the mini bus operators

* They can increase the bus fare

Some remote village passengers need not care about the bus fair. 34 percent of the respondents feel the bus fare is moderate and 34 percent of them feel that the fare charged by them is low. So there is a chance for the mini bus operators to hike the price.

* Some remote villagers want to connect up to their destination.

Nowadays the operators permit to increases their route. There is a chance for the operators to increase their mileage.

Conclusions of the study

Tamilnadu Govt. now gives permit to new bus routes. Every area it may increase up to 70 percent. It may expect 7 more buses. The villagers want a separate bus stand in Musiri. If the road condition is good the operators render their valuable services to the rural areas. Government should take necessary steps to improve the road condition and for a bus stand. Only with the help of the good transportation services to the rural areas can be attained the balanced regional growth which is the most important ingredient to the economic development.

References

Censes book

* Jah.S.M, Servicing Marketing; Himalaya Publishing House, 2005.

* Pant. J.C. Process of Urbanisation and Rural-Urban Linkages; Southern Economist, March 2004, pp7-8.

* Sexena,D.P, Rural-Urban Migration in India, Popular Prakasham, Bombay,1977, p108.

* Srinivas Prasad.T. Privatisation in State Road Transport Undertaking, Southern Economist, March, 2003, pp11-12

* Periasamy.K. Transportation-Options for Metros,Kissan World, May 2006, p4
 


Dr. T. Unnamalai
Asst. Professor
Dept. of Commerce
Bharathidasan University College
Perambalur
 

Source: E-mail September 13, 2009

          

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