The APSRTC has resumed bus services from Visakhapatnam to various destinations in the state from Thursday after a gap of over fifty days. As per official reports, buses have started from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada, Kakinada, Sileru, and Srikakulam among other areas. While bus frequency to Vizianagaram is set at every two hours, four buses are scheduled to ply to Vijayawada everyday. Palle Velugu, Super Luxury, Express and Ultra-Deluxe buses are currently being plied with design modifications to accommodate only 50% passenger capacity.
At present, the APSRTC is transporting 62 lakh passengers a day through 11,000 buses. Of these, 1810 buses are being used for inter-state travel to Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Chennai. While a majority of the buses are non-AC, 348 buses with air-conditioner facilities are being plied. The state government has directed all depot managers, bus conductors, and drivers to ensure all safety protocols are followed stringently.
As per the standard operating procedures, passengers without masks will not be allowed to board the buses. If passengers arrive at the bus station without masks, they can purchase them at the depot shops. Passengers with flu-like symptoms including fever, cough and cold will not be allowed to board the buses. Passengers are also advised to book tickets online or opt for cashless payments at the depots to ensure no-contact with the conductors.
Passengers travelling long-distance must arrive at the bus depots thirty minutes before departure. Spitting in buses and bus stations is strictly prohibited. A fine of Rs.1000/- will be levied on citizens found violating the rules. Physical distancing must be followed in the depots – signs for the same have been marked at the stations. All buses will be sanitized with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution after each trip. The health condition of all staff will be checked every morning on arrival for duty.
On 21 May, the plan of operation of APSRTC bus services in Visakhapatnam region included buses from the city to Vijayawada, Sileru, Amalapuram, Kakinada, Srikakulam, Ichchapuram, Sompeta, Mandasa, Rajapuram, Palakonda, Kotturu, Gummalaxmipuram, Paderu, and Rajahmundry. Buses were also operated from Narsipatnam, Paderu, and Anakapalli as well.