1. Improving productivity: Despite the dismal state of finances, there is scope to improve the Staff and Fleet productivities of SRTUs by regular training programs for staff and investment in technology for a more productive fleet. Road Transport Institutes should be operated as full-time staff colleges. A systematic plan for rationalising excess staff and underutilised fleet is the need of the hour to safeguard public transport undertakings and strengthen their financial viability.
  2. Fares and subsidies: On the revenue side, a scientific method to calculate the fair fare adjusted for input costs and just adequate compensation for subsidies, and effective plans to generate non-traffic revenues of these SRTUs are required .
  3. Borrowings and Other Costs: On the cost side, the analysis suggests that the loss-making SRTUs have a combination of higher Interest Payment, higher Other Costs, and higher Miscellaneous Expenditure. Therefore, steps to rationalise excess Other Costs and high-cost borrowings can improve their financial position.
  4. Freight services: As Staff Costs (with pensionary benefits to retired staff) offer little scope for restructuring, an even better solution can be conceived by channelising the staff and fleet to provide freight services by these SRTUs for better utilisation of resources to create steady streams of healthy revenue generation.
  5. Advertisement revenues: A complete review of the status quo of the SRTUs – where resources are under-utilised and commercial incomes are non-existent – is required. A proper plan to make these resources available for commercial advertisement can generate huge revenues that can solve most of the financial woos of these SRTUs.
  6. Governance: As with many public transport utilities in India, STRUs are run under the control of State governments. The experience of TfL, where a local body is responsible for the running of transport services merits serious consideration.