The Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) has decided to operate double-decker bus services in the historical cities of Mysuru and Hampi on the lines of London’s Big Bus model. The services are expected to commence from December this year.
Former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had allocated Rs 5 crore for launching six double-decker buses for sight-seeing in Mysuru and Hampi. The KSTDC has now floated a tender for the fabrication of open double-decker buses, and for the tourism department to procure six double-decker buses.
“Earlier initiative of an open bus in Mysuru during Dasara season was well received by the people and tourists hence we have proposed four double-decker buses in Mysuru and two in Hampi. We hope to receive a good response to these buses and the service may start in five or six months,” said KSTDC managing director Kumar Pushkar.
According to the tender documents accessed by the Indianexpress.com, the fabrication of double-decker open buses will be done on the Eicher bus chassis. The selected builder will build the bus as per the specifications fixed by KSTDC and also comply with road safety rules. Each bus will accommodate at least 60 passengers.
The department is also planning to promote the double-decker buses via online reservation facilities and host guided tours on these buses.
In 2014, under the ‘Open Bus’ concept, Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) introduced seven air-conditioned ‘Bangalore Rounds hop-on-hop-off’ buses starting from different points across Bengaluru on a daily basis. The service was targeted at city residents, tourists and newbies to the city to help them explore popular locations.
The stakeholders in the tourism industry in Mysuru welcomed the KSTDC move introducing double-decker buses.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, BS Prashanth, President of Mysore Travel Association, said, “The tourism department plan to operate double-decker buses is a good move to develop tourism in Mysuru. The visitors will like to watch and visit the various heritage structures on these buses.”
In May this year, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Mysuru City Division, had launched ‘Darshini package tour’ for local sightseeing spots. The package tours cover tourist places in Mysuru such as Chamundi Hill, Mysuru Zoo, Sand Museum, Regional Museum of Natural History, Mysore Palace, KRS Dam and Brindavan Gardens.
KSRTC charges Rs 200 as normal fare and Rs 300 for Volvo buses.