With Christmas around the corner and the Yuletide fervour gradually gripping the city soaked in dazzling merrymaking, the State Transport Department is now considering operating night buses for revellers during the festive season.
Considering the mammoth crowds that turn up at various hotspots of the city during the festive season, particularly on Christmas and New Year Eve, the Transport Department is mulling over running bus services to meet the increased demand. The department will operate about 50 AC and non-AC buses between 24 December to 1 January covering different parts of Kolkata and its adjoining areas.
According to sources, the department will operate bus services on the nights of 24, 25, 31 December and 1 January. Like the state Transport Department and Kolkata Metro Railway, the private and minibus operators have also decided to run services for extended hours.
The decision comes after the state government allowed relaxations on restrictions for the festive season. “On other days, when the night curfew is in place from 11 pm, the long route buses covering one part of the city to another, usually start their last trip between 8 pm to 8.30 pm. However, with the relaxations announced, we will run buses till extended hours at night so that the commuters’ demand is met,” said a union leader of private and minibus operators in Kolkata.
Auto unions in many routes have similar plans. “The decision by the state government is welcomed. We will be able to make some extra earnings,” claimed an autorickshaw driver.