Struggling to survive amid mounting losses due to the lockdown, public bus transport service Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) has decided to join hands with a private agency to start a reliable parcel service through its existing infrastructure.
“The PMPML has been struggling with its finances and it is necessary to explore new revenue sources for the public transport company to sustain itself. We are working on starting a goods and courier service through the public transport service in the Pune Metropolitan Region,” said Rajendra Jagtap, managing director and chief executive officer of PMPML.
The PMPML is the main public bus transport service provider in the PMR comprising the Pune Municipal Corporation, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, cantonment areas of Khadki, Pune, Dehu Road, and 100 villages and towns nearby.
The public transport company has the necessary infrastructure for starting an intra-city parcel and courier service, said Jagtap, adding, “The PMPML will provide its buses to transport goods and couriers in the PMR. The public transport company will be providing location to location transportation service while the private agency will be responsible for last mile transportation of parcels by loading and unloading it at bus depots. The entire initiative will be on a revenue sharing basis and help PMPML earn additional revenue.”
PMPML buses are engaged in transport operations for 19 hours, on nearly 300 routes, covering a total road network of 1,900 km, and cater to approximately 11 lakh passengers per day. The transport service currently manages its operations from 13 depots situated at strategic locations in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. Five more depots will come up soon.
“The private agency will be provided storage space and parcel office at all the depots, from where they can load and unload goods from PMPML buses and deliver them to the doorsteps of the respective client,” Jagtap said.
For the endeavour, the PMPML will only have to incur the cost of salary of driver, fuel and maintenance of vehicle while it will help generate revenue for the public transport company.
“For courier services, the existing fleet of 2,200 PMPML buses can be used effectively. There will be designated space inside the buses for temporary storage of light parcels near the rear entry or driver’s compartment. The buses are ferrying from morning till midnight across the city and they can deliver the courier round- the-clock from one depot to another, from where the private agency can deliver it till the last destination at the fastest speed,” said Jagtap.