1.1 - Introduction to Transport
In many countries, major investments are being made in public transport systems to make them more competitive in relation to other means of transport, most notably private vehicles. New services are being developed and old ones are being improved. However, an increase in supply (qualitatively or quantitatively) will not automatically lead to a corresponding increase in demand and satisfaction. To make sure that investment really attracts both the existing and the potential customers envisaged, knowledge of satisfaction and service performance should provide policymakers and operational managers in public transport with valuable information.
1.2- Transportation in Karnataka
Karnataka, a state in South India has a well-developed transport system. Its capital city, Bangalore is well-connected by air to domestic and international destinations and the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) in the city is one of the busiest airports in India. It is also the headquarters of the airlines, Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines. The road transport is also well developed in the state with many National and State highways providing means for fast transportation. The headquarters of the South-Western Railway division of Indian Railways is located at Hubli and this division governs most of the railway network in the state. Konkan Railway which passes along the coastal region of the state is considered as one of the toughest engineering projects being undertaken in India till date. Buses, cars and trains are the means of transport for moving across distant places in Karnataka. For transportation within the city or town limits; motorbikes, cars, auto rickshaws and buses are used. With the advent of low-cost airlines, many people are choosing to travel via air as well.
Among the network of roads in Karnataka, 3973 km. of roads are National Highways. Karnataka also has state highways of length 9829 km. The road from Bangalore to Mysore (State Highway 17) is also well maintained and equal to the standard of a National Highway.
The public bus transport in Karnataka is managed by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). It was set up in the year 1961 with the objective of providing adequate, efficient, economic and properly coordinated road transport services. It operates 5100 schedules using 5400 vehicles covering 1.95 million kilometers and an average of 2.2 million passengers daily. About 25000 people are employed in KSRTC. For better management of public transport, KSRTC was bifurcated into three Corporations viz., Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bangalore on 15th Aug 1997, North-west Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Hubli on 1st Nov 1997 and North-East Karnataka Road Transport Corporation, Gulbarga on 1st Oct 2000. The reservation system is networked and computerized and tickets can be availed at designated kiosks in towns and cities. An online reservation system called AWATAR has also been devised by KSRTC using which travelers can reserve tickets online. KSRTC plies various categories of buses viz. Airavata, Mayura, Rajahamsa, Karnataka Saarige Bus with composite structure, Sheetal, KAVERI Medium floor City Bus, Corona AMBAARI, Corona AMBAARI Sleeper bus, Volvo VAIBHAVA low floor city bus, Mercedes-Benz bus, Volvo 6×2 Multi Axle Inter City bus, Vazra Grameena Sarige is another initiative by KSRTC to provide bus service to the rural populace of the state. Karnataka Saarige.
Buses run by private persons are allowed to operate in few districts of Karnataka. Inter district transportation are run by private operators, connecting capital Bangalore and main cities like Mangalore and Dharwad to district head quarters. Intra district transportation by private operators is currently allowed in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts. Omni bus and Maxi cabs are also other modes of road transportation in the state; especially where...