Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My experiments with RTI - Part 1

As usual, I were away for so long. no excuses other than sheer laziness and lack of drive. I have decided to try once again to change my 3.5 decade long characteristic.
Ever since I were 18, I wanted to take a plunge into the socio-political affairs of our home state. Circumstances, family expectations, individual aspirations and quite a few transient requirements kept me busy with my work and personal life in the first decade of my career. Once I returned from the west and settled in our hometown, that good old desire re appeared. My passion to be a part of the democracy started with a feeble dream that I could contribute effectively to the cause of my state and my nation apart from paying taxes. After lot of discussions with subject matter experts, I have decided my way. I will start sharing my views with people through my blog.I will wait for responses, critiques, appreciations, feedbacks, counter views and alternatives. In this process, I want people to know how I think and what I dream about. If it resonate with masses, great. Else I will continue this long journey as long as I can. I will also make honest attempts to put my thoughts to action so that I can contribute towards the "difference" we all dream everyday.  with that introduction, let me start the first one in this series...

at the onset, let me reiterate my objective. I want to contribute to the transformation of our home state as a much better place for its inmates with every living indice matching the best world standard. I wish to take an active role (however small and insignificant it is) in shaping our tomorrow, definitely a better and promising one. All I have is a dream, vision and commitment. so let me start this humble journey of mine here today...

Not so much into my journey, I Came across a powerful tool to gather information, RTI. I filed my first RTI about KSRTC. My love for KSRTC buses are as old as me. Until I could afford a car, I travelled far and wide in my home state in those lovely red painted buses. green painted ones were a little too expensive to afford those days. My intention for an RTI is purely information purpose and as an opportunity to learn whether we can look for possible ways of improving that area. Its not to expose the corruption or file cases against someone. I believe corruption is nothing but exploitation of existing laws. so as long as the law and law enforcement aren't smart enough, corruption will continue to happen. to curb corruption, all we need is smart laws and smarter enforcement of the same.

Now some basic facts...
in 2010, KSRTC's income was 1159.14 crore. in 2010, KSRTC's expenses were 1342.78 crores. that is 183 crore loss.

now some additional information,
1. Number of Drivers - 13747
2. Number of conductors - 15622.
3. Number of administrative staff - 2595
4. Outstanding Loans - 1269.34 crore
5. Number of schedules per day - 5303
6. Number of running buses - 5924

Now assume 70% efficiency - i.e. on any given day, 30% of buses will be faulty, 30% of drivers,conductors and staff will be on leave.

So new operating figures for a day will be 10,000 drivers, 11,000 conductors, 4150 buses, 1820 administrative staff.

Since Bus is the profit making unit, we'll consider everything relative to a bus.

For every running  bus in KSRTC, we have 2.4 drivers, 2.65 conductors, 0.44 administrative staff, 1.27 schedule/bus

Now that's doesn't sound any impressive. if we take an average of 10 buses, we have 24 drivers, 26 conductors, 5 admin staff and only 13 schedules. its a very surprising fact that most of the schedules operated by KSTRC are less than 100 km. this exposes the efficiency at which we are operating today.

************************ Suggestions **********************************

First and foremost, Increase the operating efficiency of KSRTC. if per day work hours are 8 hrs, ensure workforce is utilized effectively. Every Driver on duty should run at least 250 km/per day. if that's the case, with 70% occupancy and around 60 paise per km, he will generate 5250 rs/day. the scheduling should be automated to ensure optimal loading of resources

Other suggestions are

1. All private buses exit road by 8 pm. they will re appear only by 5.30 am next day. KSRTC buses should utilize the over night demand throughout the state. through the artery roads in kerala, running from north to south with deviations to eastern and western towns, continuous schedules at regular intervals will definitely have enough passengers

2. KSRTC should upgrade its fleet with Volvo buses for long distance routes

3. Start regular trips to popular 365 days in demand destinations such as Bangalore, Mysore, Chennai, Velakani, Thirupathi, guruvayoor, mookambika, coimbatore, Goa, Munnar, thekkady, kanyakumari, airports in the state to name a few

4. Run chartered services using Volvo buses for school and college exercusions, private exercusions etc. this will be really really profitable for KSRTC

5. Start Chain services using VOLVO A/C buses in routes such as Ernakulam-kozhikode, Ernakulam-thiruvananthapuram, thiruvananthapuram to various district head quarters.

6. start night schedules in north-south & south-north directions for long distance travellers

7. run more city schedules during peak hours. this will have more returns with less expenses

8. Optimize the fleet. run periodic maintenance and procure only genuine spares directly from manufacturers at best rate. if possible,completely outsource the maintenance to 3rd party with strict SLA s in place. this will ensure maximum buses available anytime

9. start VOLVO chain service from aluva, ekm etc to smart city area during 8 am to 10 am and from evening 4pm to 8pm.  lot of people using private transport will shift to buses for sure

10. Enable e-booking and bus information in internet so that people can look for possible schedules of their choice.

11. Use Automated algorithms to schedule trips so that all resources can be best utilized. Split the state into 4 zones + 1 complete coverage zone. Allocate resources  to each zone based on demand in the zone. this allocation can change every week based on trends. For e.g., during sabarimala season, the zone in which sabarimala falls in will need more resources. this kind of division will help run resources effectively and under strict supervision norms

I hope this is a humble start. I am sure you all will have much better and novel ideas to add to this. if you take sometime to add your ideas too, I compile it and forward it to authorities.
wish to hear from all of you...

Sudheer M