For Bangaloreans residing in the city travelling to their hometown is a regular affair, as the demand for buses plying from the city to Bangalore has seen a 20 per cent rise in the last six months. Ironically, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has not been able to cash in on this demand. 

Galloping ahead: On an average, five KSRTC buses leave for Bangalore 
every hour, while MSRTC plies only two buses throughout the day. File pic

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), on the other hand, has been making a killing by plying 13 types of bus services the routes. The MSRTC has been trying to catch up by operating only two services to Bangalore from Pune. According to travel agency experts, three out of every five Punekars prefer travelling with the KSRTC. "There are only two buses on this route on a daily basis. The demand is increasing, as a large number of students and IT professionals from Bangalore visit home over the weekends. The MSRTC should increase the frequency," said Ramesh Yadu, a Bangalore-based travel agent. 

The KSRTC has also opened a counter at the Swargate Bus Junction. "The Karnataka service is undoubtedly more popular. People do not even know about the MSRTC buses. On an average five KSRTC buses leave every hour, while the MSRTC plies only two buses throughout the day," said Sakshar, an MSRTC conductor at the Swargate Bus station. 

"We have started these two services to Bangalore just five months ago. We need to gauge response and only then will we increase the number of buses. We know that the demand has shot up on this route and we are trying to improve services too," said Vijay Kumar Divate, manager of Swargate Depot, MSRTC. 

The festive season has further boosted the demand for buses on this route. "We already have 13 different services on this route and since this is the peak season, we have boosted further boosted the services. We recently set up a counter in Pune as well, after successfully operating service on this route for over 25 years," said Channabasappa, Chief Marketing Manager, KSRTC.