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How resumption of bus services in India is happening in Lockdown 4.0

  • India
  • Crisis management

As India moved to lockdown 4.0 on 17 May, the central government left the decision to ply bus services on the state governments and union territories for intra-state movement. Services of inter-state services to be mutually decided between the concerned states and union territories. Many states and union territories further to this welcomed the decision and gradually resumed their bus services at reduced capacity.

A glimpse of some cities and states which have resumed services and the precautionary measures they are taking.


All public transport services other than metro services in Delhi were resumed on 19 May . Buses were allowed to run with not more than 20 passengers, maximum number of DTC and cluster buses were to resume operation on the city roads depending on the availability of drivers and conductors. The transport department is responsible for ensuring social distancing is maintained on every bus and across all bus depots in the city. Marshals, civil defence volunteers, enforcement personnel of the transport department were deployed to help people maintain social distancing. Source: Hindustan Times 19 May 2020

Mumbai(City) and Maharashtra (State)

The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is running 1,300+ buses in Mumbai to provide services to workers of essential services Source: The Hindu 18 May 2020

Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) resumed bus operations on 22 May after two months. The buses will operate with all the rules of lockdown between 7 am and 7 pm. The buses will not travel through red and containment zones. Senior citizens and children under the age of 10 are not allowed with exception of extraordinary situations. Every bus is sanitised before the journey and only 50% of each vehicle is occupied as a part of social distancing norms, standing inside the buses is not permitted. Passengers have to wear masks or cover their faces at all times. They have to sanitise their hands before getting into bus. Source: Mumbai Mirror 22 May 2020

Bangalore(City) and Karnataka (State)

Bengaluru and other parts of the state opened up to movement of people by public transport on 18 May. Both Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Transport Corporation (KSRTC) resumed services with partial operations and passengers sitting one seat away from each other to ensure social distancing.

BMTC is operating about 1,500 buses, and passengers are not allowed to stand while travelling. Only pass-holders were allowed on BMTC buses and passengers had to purchase the daily pass for Rs 70 or weekly pass for Rs 300 instead of tickets. Lately BMTC has also introduced QR code based payments in 1000 buses.  

In BMTC the body temperature of crew is checked daily, they wear mask and use sanitisers, they also monitor social distancing between passengers. Vehicles are cleaned and disinfected on regular basis. Masks are mandatory for passengers and dedicated doors are there for boarding and deboarding. Senior citizens, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are not allowed to travel by bus. Source

In KSRTC buses are not operated in containment zones. Maximum of 30 passengers are allowed to travel in one bus, masks are mandatory for passengers.

Chennai (city) –Tamil Nadu (State)

Bus Services has resumed in 25 districts where cases have gone down but not in city of Chennai. Government and private buses which provide services to government staff members and factories can accommodate only 20 people. Source: The Indian Express 18 May 2020

Hyderabad (city) –Telangana (State)

Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) on Tuesday resumed services across the state, barring city buses in Hyderabad and inter-state on 19 May. Currently around 6000 buses are being operated. Facemasks are mandatory for passengers, masks and sanitisers also been provided to the staff. Sanitisers were also provided in buses and at wherever water facility is available at bus stations soaps were provided. Passengers have been asked to observe social distancing norms and no standing passenger are allowed in the buses. Source: The Week 19 May 2020

Kolkata (city) –West Bengal (State)

West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) started bus operations on 40 major routes covering most of workplaces, markets, healthcare, business and banking districts from 27 May. The services would be available 7 am to 7 pm and passengers and operators will follow covid-19 safety protocols and social distancing norms. WBTC has already procured PPE kits gloves masks for drivers and conductors. Disinfection protocol has been established for every trip. The buses will ply only with 50% capacity. Around 750 buses are being operated by South Bengal Transport Corporation as well. Source: Times of India 27 May 2020

Bhubaneshwar (city) – Odisha (State)

The bus services resumed on 27 May, the authorities have decided to ply the buses in seven routes from Bhubaneswar to Cuttack and Khordha towns.  Mask will be compulsory for the passengers and no standing passenger will be allowed to travel in the buses. Cleaning and disinfection of Mo buses are being done on daily basis as per standard procedure in the interest of passengers and staff deployed in the buses.  Source: Sambad 25 May 2020

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