Thalassery Double Decker Bus Hits Brakes Due To Low Ridership

Thalassery’s new double-decker bus paused after launch hype. Low ridership prompts pause. Could improved marketing revive this tourism venture?

Thalassery’s highly anticipated double-decker bus, managed by KSRTC, has ceased its operations due to a lack of sufficient passengers. Launched with great excitement in February, the bus embarked on its inaugural journey on February 22, graced by the presence of Minister KB Ganesh Kumar and Speaker AN Shamsir.

Initially, the response was promising, especially during the Thalassery Carnival in early March. However, the enthusiasm dwindled over time, resulting in a decline in passenger numbers and ultimately leading to the suspension of operations. The bus primarily caters to sightseeing tours, offering routes tailored to tourist attractions, but requires a minimum of 40 passengers to start its journey.

Priced at Rs 250 per person, the journey begins at 2:30 PM and ends at 8:30 PM. However, the intense afternoon heat has deterred potential travelers, causing patronage to dwindle. Currently, only a few individuals opt for the journey, making it economically unsustainable. Additionally, adverse weather conditions, such as scorching heat and rain, pose challenges, especially for passengers on the open-air top deck.

The introduction of the double-decker bus in Thalassery generated significant interest, as it was a novelty in the region, reminiscent of similar services in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. The bus features seating for 28 passengers and two tables on the lower level, while the upper deck accommodates 21 passengers.

The initiative to introduce the bus to Thalassery was led by Speaker A.N. Shamseer, with the aim of promoting the region’s heritage tourism project. The proposed route includes key landmarks such as Gundert Bungalow, the Court, Overburry’s Folly, Kota, and Gopalapetta, with the journey concluding at Mahi Basilica Church via the Mahi riverside footpath, followed by a visit to Muzhappilangad beach before returning to Thalassery.

While KSRTC remains committed to operating the service upon request from a minimum of 40 passengers, the current scenario highlights the need for greater community engagement and promotional efforts to ensure the sustainability of this unique tourism initiative.

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