ABOUT AMTS ( Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Services) :
AMTS BUS SERVICES ROUTES ( IN DETAILS) ( CLICK HERE)
There existed three transport services viz. ABC Co. (Amdavad Bus Corporation), Morris Transport and Munshi Bus service, before the municipal bus service. There was shortage of petrol till 1946 due to Second World War and the petrol supply was in limited quantity even in 1947 when the municipal bus service started. Coal-gas was used as fuel earlier in the buses, many buses were plying on gas. There were approximately 50,000 commuters who travelled in such buses, Morris company operated some 32 bus routes in the city. The buses ran on Gandhi Road, and Relief Road from Bhadra in city area. There were clock-wise and anticlock-wise routes running from shahpur to shahpur. More over there were other routes for Shahibaug, Dudheshwar, Vadaj, Sabarmati and Calico Mills outside city area. There were buses for Asarva, Khokhara- Mehmdabad, Gomtipur, Amraiwadi and Maninagar in the eastern area, while Paldi, Vasna, Ambawadi and Commerce College routes were covered on the western bank of Sabarmati river. Buses for Sabarmati area ran from Vadaj.
Minimum bus fare was one Anna (6paise), and Maximum bus fare was three Annas (20 paise). They were in force from 1-1-47.
First communal riots took place in 1941, and the atmosphere was tense in 1946 also. The buses ran by private companies closed down during such emergency period, and hence the citizens felt insecurity together with difficulty. The private companies (Austin and Studbaker) buses were in wretched condition having wooden seats without sponge, a curse for the commuters, because profit motive was at the centre for such commercial organizations. Hence the citizen demanded heavily for the public transport service. Amdavad municipality decided to start bus service in public sector, keeping in view the ideal to end the troubles of people and to give them good service at reasonable rates.
There were 60 municipal buses running on the road on 1-4-47. There was lot of excitement for the new buses, and the people thronged on the bus routes to see the municipal buses, because the public sector city bus service was the first of its kind in Amdavad in the whole country, and the citizens gave very warm welcome to it. The people of the city took pride for the bus service started by the municipality. The seats were spongy and comfortable in the new buses. All the routes started from Lal Darwaja (Bhadra) and railway station. The route numbers were almost similar, to the ones Morris Company, with minor changes, so that the passengers should not face any problems that time.
Close-wise and anticlock-wise circular routes were started from Lal Darwaja. When the bus service began in 1947, buses were not delivered in requisite number, hence certain buses were hired for a month to cater the urgent need from Gujarat Motors Ltd. on daily rent of Rs.50. Due to an inconvient body for the city-service, they were stopped as soon as the organization got its own buses.
The third party insurance risk was not covered from beginning under the Motor Vehicle Act Section 94 (2), therefore the amount equivalent to its premium was decided to be deposited, and Mumbai state government was requested for exemption on the said amount. The request was granted. It was granted that all the municipal transport service staff would get monthly Rs. 5 as grain rebate.
As the delivery was received from the bus dealers more buses came on the roads. Order was given to general Motors to buy 225 buses in total, out of that 143 buses were received upto September 1947. The petrol supply was inadequate those days, due to government regulations, and therefore the buses on road were much less than they were required. However there was considerable increase in the number of passengers as compared to private bus-management. In 1947-48, the daily number of passenger were one lac nine thousand.
This department was considered as a section of Municipality before the separation of transport fund on 1-8-1950. Separate accounts of AMTS service were maintained taking into consideration the payments released on 1-4-1950 onwards from the municipal office, and accordingly, AMTS estimate Budget-‘B’ for 1951-52 was presented in the General Meeting of Municipal corporation by transport committee through standing committee in Dec. 1950. In Jan. 1951, All India Convention Committee meeting was held in Gujarat Vidyapith, Amdavad. At that time, a bus-stand was erected near Vidyapith in order to facilitate the crowds gathered to attend to their beloved leaders. On 30 Jan 1951, Gandhiji’s death- anniversary, people had participated in great number in the mass-spinning programme at Harijan Ashram, there also proper bus-arrangement was made. Special arrangement was also made for S.S.C exam on demand of National Student Union.
With the expanse of city area and progress in industries, AMTS field became wider. Various new housing colonies, schools and factories cropped up across the river towards west in Maninagar, Vadaj, Sabarmati and east of the railway line, and it was necessary to add more bus-routes to cope up with public demand. 65 New buses to be purchased had diesel engine, therefore fuel expense were decreased in 1954-55 budget. Tyre-tube and spare-part expenses were curtailed too in the new fleet of buses. Temporary staff at the workshop was also limited. Carriage capacity of the new buses was comparatively more due to greater number of seats, but estimated bus-fare income was at par with last year, Rs. 59,00,000.
“Politeness week” was celebrated from 21-3-55 to 27-3-55 by the organization. The staff had made this event successful with spirit, and many appreciation letters were received as a symbol of people’s response. This eventful week was inaugurated at Lal Darwaja by the Mayor in the presence of outstanding citizens. Respected Mayor had awarded Rs. 20 as inspirational Prize to sincere drivers and conductors. Therefore the staff got the feeling of zeal and awareness, supported by encouragement for better performance.
Demand for transportation services grew with the development of Amdavad city. Bus routes upto Kathwada, Lambha, Ranip, Hathijan, Vanch, Ramol, Nikol and Amli Road were started during 1960, This facility helped to the villagers and to the students to visit Amdavad city. Thus Municipal Transport service has played an important role in the development of suburbs and nearby villages. All those remote areas, where AMTS buses went first, their development has become faster. The organization had to bear losses in earlier years in following the service oriented attitude but it has resulted in speedy development of the city.
The organization had adopted service-oriented approach, and the matter such as : night and morning service for textile workers, special routes from Government Colonies to secretariate and new civil hospital, special concession rates for children and students, free pass scheme for the blind, and concessional pass for professional and medical post-graduate students were benefactory for the society.
This transport service got popularity among citizens as well as tourists visiting this city during last 7 years, because arrangement of two modern coaches facilitated city tours, specially engaged tours, religious places tours, picnic tours for students at discounted rates and also bus-facility at public functions. Moreover “The Merry-go-round service” was introduced around Kankaria lake and it was a matter of attraction for the children. This way the organization created a unique image of its own.
The financial aspect was almost balanced. There was enough provision in the budget for loan amount to purchase new buses, repayment of the installments of loan borrowed from corporation, installments for loan and sinking fund, depreciation fund, insurance fund, and also installments for gratuity funds. Though the economic progress of the organization was satisfactory, no major increase was made in the rates of bus fare and each section was managed skillfully with frugality. The existing bus fare rates were good enough to meet the price-rise of diesel and other equipments.
AMTS is managed by Transport Manager under transport committee and Municipal Corporation from the very inception, the organization has adopted service oriented attitude, so one should not consider it as a firm or a company, but as a service organization. AMTS is a voluntary service managed by Municipal Corporation under B.P.M.C. Act.