Rural Bus Connectivity and Quality of Services under Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC)
Lenin Gogoi

Lenin Gogoi, Research Scholar, Department of Political Science, Assam University Diphu Campus Assam.
Manuscript received on July 20, 2019. | Revised Manuscript received on August 10, 2019. | Manuscript published on August 30, 2019. | PP: 3322-3327 | Volume-8 Issue-6, August 2019. | Retrieval Number: F9325088619/2019©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijeat.F9325.088619
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Abstract: Road Transport Sector (RTS) is crucial for the people living in rural areas because other modes of transportation are hardly available in these regions. People are basically dependent on road transport services to run their day to day works in rural areas. Assam is a state of India where majority of the population is living in rural areas. The state comprises different geographical locations such as remotest of the remote locations, flood affected areas etc. and on the other hand, other modes of transportation such as trains, flights etc. are not adequately available in all places of the state. Thus, road transport plays a crucial role in moving goods and services in the state. So far as the welfare states are concerned, Public Road Transport Corporations (PRTCs) play a major role in delivering bus services to the people so all sections of the people can travel comfort journey at reasonable prices. Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) is only the Public Sector Road Transport Corporation (PSRTC) in Assam which provides bus services to the people of the state and in its connected regions. Here, the present study has been made to understand the status of services provided to the people living in rural areas of Assam under ASTC. Total 100 respondents from the group of passengers travelled by ASTC’s buses (Lakhimpur Division) have been purposively contacted for collecting primary data and the data collected from passengers would help to understand the availability/unavailability and the quality of services provided by ASTC to the passengers. Apart from the passengers, 8 ASTC’s officials (four from each station) and 2 higher officials from ASTC’s headquarters have been interviewed to understand the challenges faced by them in operating buses. Based on the collected data, the study finds that the corporation has failed to provide quality services to the passengers in many regards. The findings of the study highlight unavailability of push back system in seats in many buses, absence of a/c connections in buses allotted to rural areas, unhygienic bus stations etc. The study also reveals that service delivery is affected by the problems which are related to operation of buses such as rigid official procedures, financial deficiency, dissatisfaction of employees etc. Based on the findings, the study suggests concerned authority to take necessary steps to improve the quality of services regarding different aspects and to introducing such rules and regulations wherein employees feel comfort to discharge their duties. The study also suggests concerned authority to keeping proper surveillance over the properties of ASTC, focusing on proper maintenance of buses and bus stations etc.
Keywords: Rural Bus Service, Service Quality, Public Road Transport Sector.