The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has been on the verge of a revamp when the pandemic hit. The state RTC had to ground several of its brand new luxury and semi-luxury buses due to lack of enough passengers, and then came the lockdown. Before Christmas in 2020, MSRTC restarted its sleeper and seater bus services, popularly termed as Shivshahi buses.
The MSRTC sleeper bus was introduced to rival the private buses in luring the common man to use the luxury at a more affordable rate. MSRTC sleeper buses offer cheaper bus tickets rates, way lower than what charged by the private bus operators.
Types of sleeper and seater buses by MSRTC
MSRTC now operates as many as ten different types of luxury and semi-luxury buses. These buses mainly have semi-sleepers to suit long-distance travel, and some buses have both sleeper beds and seats. The main types of these buses are the semi-sleeper Volvo AC buses, semi-luxury Hirkani, AC-Shivshahi buses, AC-Shivneri buses, Night Express, and the MSRTC non-AC sleeper bus, etc.
These MSRTC buses are available for various trips on different routes across the state and are not confined to a specific route or region. These sleeper and seater buses offer inter-city services along with trips to other states as well.
What is the Shivshahi sleeper bus?
The Shivshahi sleeper bus is the collective name termed to the new range of luxury buses offered by MSRTC. These buses are available to the public at a much cheaper rate. The public gets a chance to enjoy the AC comfortable seats on their routes and not pay a higher rate charged by the private bus operators.
The availability of such luxury buses at a lower rate is expected to lure more passengers towards the RTC and reduce the private bus operators’ dominance.
The Shivshahi sleeper buses are clean with comfortable seats with added amenities such as WiFi onboard, charging ports at strategic spots, entertainment, quicker travel with safety, and a comfortable suspension to move around the bad road conditions. Also, the buses have reading lights, night lamps, and ample storage compartments inside the bus.
About the MSRTC non-AC sleeper bus
The MSRTC non-AC sleeper bus is a combination of semi-sleeper seats and sleeper beds on the same bus. These buses are mainly aimed for overnight trips to other parts of the state as well as to the neighbouring states, such as Goa.
These non-AC buses will have 30 semi-sleeper seats in 2+1 design and 15 sleeper beds situated above these seats. The buses are 12 m in length, and there are a total of 200 buses adopted by the MSRTC.
There is no difference in the bus fare of these seats. The availability of the tickets is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The bus tickets would require reservation of the seats, which are available for booking both online and offline at the various RTC offices.
Sleeper and seater buses routes
The Sleeper and seater buses by MSRTC was introduced to expand its luxury bus range within the state. As of now, there are 16 routes within the state. There is also a Mumbai- Goa bus route that started a few months back. The services of such buses to the other states are yet to start.
The buses are available for night time travel on these routes. The available routes in the state are as follows.
- Mumbai Central-Hingoli
- Mumbai Central-Miraj
- Mumbai Central-Tarakpur
- Mumbai Central-Shevgaon
- Borivali- Devache Gothane
MSRTC sleeper and seater buses charges
Compared to the exuberant bus fare charged by the private bus operators, the sleeper and seater buses by MSRTC come as a lifesaver for the common man. Not only are the charges very low and in the affordable range, but there is also no difference between the seater charges and the sleeper charges.
Both the pushback seats and the sleeper tickets in these non-AC buses by MSRTC have the same charges. It also depends on the availability as to which ticket you would be getting.
The bus charges of the Mumbai-Goa route are INR. 965 and that to Mapusa costs INR.950. Charges of the inter-city buses range between INR. 415-1255, depending upon the destinations. The lowest rate is applicable to the Mumbai-Tarakpur route, whereas the highest rate is for the Pune-Nagpur route.
Booking the tickets
As mentioned, the MSRTC sleeper bus booking is available both online and offline. The tickets are available online from the MSRTC website as well as from other online portals such as redBus or their mobile apps.
For booking from the MSRTC portal, you must register on the portal and have your username and password handy before you can proceed. Once you have your username and password, log in to the site, search for the buses, and select Shivshahi or Shivneri buses as required and proceed to make an online payment.
On the other hand, at the redBus portal, you can search for the buses and compare the MSRTC buses’ prices with that of other bus operators, assess the amenities and other features before selecting the buses. Both MSRTC and redBus portal provides the e-ticket for your use.
The offline bus ticket booking may be made at the various RTC offices.
The main objective of introducing these MSRTC sleeper and seater buses is to provide the public with luxury at an affordable price. Getting a luxurious ride for a long journey has not been possible for many because of the higher bus fare. These buses and the development in infrastructure with better bus stations are a few of the ways used by the RTC to improve its stature compared with the private bus operators. Even the introduction of the AC buses by MSRTC has not been as popular as these non-AC sleeper buses. The non-AC sleeper buses have been a popular choice with the public for their inter-city journeys.
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