RailYatri re-jig schedules to sync with local curbs, may tie up for RT-PCR testing

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on April 23, 2021

To enable safe travel, RailYatri is trying to offer Covid-19 insurance cover for its passengers, in addition to the accident cover that it already provides. It has also been approached by corporate laboratories from Maharashtra for RT-PCR test tie-ups with some States insisting on Coronavirus negative test results before allowing entry for visitors.

According to the company, more people are taking to buses because of lower availability of train seats and services as Railways have dropped the number of stops enroute if there was not enough demand.

Partial lockdown impact

RailYatri also said that its growth in the last one year was contributed by a decline in number of bus operators.

The passenger movement has been varied in the last few days, according to the company.

“In the North, there is a very steep demand from Delhi to Uttar Pradesh routes and low demand from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. Therefore, we have maintained the same fleet due to the high demand from Delhi to UP,” Manish Rathi, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, IntrCity, RailYatri, said.

However, following the six-day lockdown in Delhi, apart from the major impact on Delhi-Uttar Pradesh route, curfews and soft lockdowns by various state governments have hit travel.

“Because of night curfew in Tamil Nadu we have changed the schedule of all overnight buses to day schedule buses…..,” he said

From late last week, RailYatri has seen a marginal dip in capacity utilisation in Maharashtra following night curfew there. The drop was not sharp on the Gujarat-Maharashtra traffic. “The capacity utilisation had dropped to 70-75 per cent after early curbs were imposed -- against 85-90 per cent capacity utilisation before these curbs, ” according to Rathi.

With states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttaranchal seeking negative RT-PCR results done in last 72 hours, RailYatri has started putting those test results as a part of passenger manifesto that they handover to the officials regulating entry and exit of people along the state borders. But states like Delhi, UP have not sought RT-PCR negative results as of now, according to RailYatri.

On the customer behaviour, RailYatri said that people have started differentiating between discretionary and non-discretionary travel. So, people would travel if their employer was asking them to be in the workspace. Post Covid-19, travellers are also particular about hygiene and cleanliness of buses.

When RailYatri opened its services after the first quarter last year, it saw traffic returning to pre-Covid-19 levels by November 2020. After November, it had started seeing further surge in demand for travel for non-discretionary travel as well.

Published on April 23, 2021

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