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IT staff asked to use public transport

By Kaustubh Kulkarni in Pune
April 23, 2009 13:16 IST
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They have been travelling to work in air-conditioned cabs and luxurious coaches all these years. IT employees of Pune will now also have to get used to public transport buses.

Cost pressures are forcing IT majors like Infosys Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services to opt for public transport buses that come at cheaper rates and have a better reach in the city. This leads to cost cutting as compared to cabs and private bus services.

Infosys Technologies, for instance, recently placed a request with Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, the local public transport body in Pune, for an additional 20 buses to ferry its staffers from all over the city to its office locations in Hinjewadi. Infosys already has 16 PMPML buses operating for its staffers for some time.

Even TCS has now placed a request for 13 PMPML buses within Pune city.

"Information technology companies have been considering PMPML for transportation of staffers. We provide cheaper and safe service that has better reach and efficiency. Infosys, especially has asked for CNG buses, which we are trying to provide.

But we have excellent low-emission buses that would soon be deployed to ferry Infosys staffers," PMPML managing director Nitin Khade told Business Standard.

Top officials from Infosys as well as TCS confirmed that they have placed requests with PMPML but declined to give any details. Wipro Technologies and Tech Mahindra, too, are reportedly exploring possibilities to hire PMPML services instead of private bus operators.

The advantage PMPML draws out of providing bus service to IT companies is higher compensation than average running. "In addition to this, we ferry common people during the afternoon hours to improve connectivity to Hinjewadi region," Khade said.

The PMPML charges between Rs 55,000 to Rs 60,000 per month, for a single bus with a 50-passenger capacity it provides to a company.

"Some 16 PMPML buses are already operating for Infosys, while 20 new have been asked for. We expect services to TCS and Tech Mahindra companies will also begin soon," said PMPML traffic manager Sunil Gavali.

If a company hires a bus from a private operator, the monthly charge for a 50-seater bus goes up to Rs 68,000. The PMPML service, is hence, cheaper and has a better reach across the city. "Information technology companies have realised the advantages of ferrying employees in PMPML buses as against private buses. Hence, we are getting more and more demand for transportation services," added Gavali.

A number of IT professionals expressed satisfaction over the PMPML service. "We used to think public transport is pathetically maintained. But we are ferried in good buses and the service is really prompt," said K Sandeep, working with Infosys Technologies.

Another professional working with a BPO unit said, "From air-conditioned cabs, we had moved to private buses. And now, we are being picked up by public transport buses. Cost pressures are really making companies think in a different way."

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Kaustubh Kulkarni in Pune
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