Bengaluru: Private bus operators are out to make the most of the failure of the Railways to announce a Christmas-New Year train service to Kerala yet. The ticket fare has crossed Rs 3,000 for long-distance bus services from Bengaluru. For example, if you want to book a ticket for December 21 to Ernakulam, be ready to shell out Rs 3,215.
During the previous Christmas season, the ticket rate in private buses had gone up to Rs 4,000. This year, though the Bengaluru-Kochuveli Hamsafar Express is running on Fridays, all the seats have been booked well in advance.
Kerala RTC help
Kerala RTC will launch special bus services from December 21 to 24 to help Keralites travel to their hometowns without burning a hole in their pockets. So far, seven daily bus services have been announced. New services will be launched as and when requirements arise, the authorities said.
21 Karnataka specials
Karnataka RTC has announced 21 special bus services to Kerala. They include four buses to Kottayam on December 21, five to Ernakulam, two to Pamba, one to Munnar, four to Thrissur, three to Palakkad, one to Kozhikode and one to Mahi. Karnataka RTC has started accepting bookings.
4,000 on waitlist
There are more than 4,000 people on the wait list on trains to Kerala during the Christmas season. On the peak rush day of December 21, there are more than 2,000 on wait list. There are six trains to Kerala on December 21, including Kanyakumari Express, Kochuveli Hamsafar, Kochuveli Express, Kannur Express, Mangaluru-Kannur Express and Ernakulam Intercity.
Since the Sabarimala season coincides with the Christmas-New Year holidays, no tickets are available for trains that pass through Ernakulam and Kottayam until January. Since no special trains have been announced yet, Keralites are hoping to find tatkal tickets.
Kerala RTC specials, timings
1. Kottayam: 6 pm, deluxe (Mysuru, Kozhikode)
2. Ernakulam: 6.30 pm, deluxe (Mysuru, Kozhikode)
3. Thrissur: 7.15 pm, deluxe (Mysuru, Kozhikode)
4. Kannur: 9 pm, express (Iritty, Mattannoor)
5. Kozhikode: 9.20 pm, deluxe (Mysuru, Mananthavady)
6. Kozhikode: 9.45 pm, express (Mysuru, Mananthavady)
7. Payyanur: 10.15 pm, express (Cherupuzha)
December 21 rates
Bengaluru-Ernakulam: Rs 3,215
Bengaluru-Thiruvananthapuram: Rs 3,200
Bengaluru-Kottayam: Rs 3,000
Bengaluru-Kozhikode: Rs 2,200