West Bengal Transport Corporation was formed in 2016 by merging three State Transport Undertakings, Calcutta State Transport Corporation, Calcutta Tramways Company and West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation.
Calcutta State Transport Corporation (CSTC)
Founded on – 31 st July 1948.
Fleet size – 1100
No of Depots – 24
Erstwhile known as State Transport Services, it mainly operated buses in Kolkata and adjoining areas. On 15 th July, 1960 the name was changed to Calcutta State Transport Corporation. Since 1968, CSTC started plying Long Distance Bus Services to various places of West Bengal. It owns 11 depots, all of them present in Kolkata and suburbs. CSTC presently has a fleet of nearly 1100 buses. These buses includes 244 AC buses from Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Volvo and Eicher Motors. In JNNURM 1 CSTC received nearly 120 non AC SLF buses of Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors build and in JNNURM 2 CSTC purchased 632 buses (278 Ashok Leyland Janbus Non AC, 171 Ashok Leyland Janbus AC, 120 Tata Marcopolo 1624 RE non AC, 63 Volvo 8400).
Since 2014, CSTC has stopped long distance bus services as per directions from State Government, now it runs city buses (AC and Non AC) and some non AC Executive series buses in Kolkata and suburbs. CSTC has recently renovated an old Ashok Leyland Titan Double Decker bus which runs as a Joyride from Eco Park (Salt Lake).
Formed in – December 1880
The company was formed to establish Tramways network in Kolkata. Initially the tram services in Kolkata were horse drawn and in 1882 steam engine driven trams were introduced. Since 1900, the trams are electric powered. In 1922, CTC introduced bus services in Kolkata but was later discontinued in 1925. In 1992, CTC reintroduced bus services with 40 buses. CTC presently has a fleet of nearly 270 tram-cars and around 450 buses. There are ten depots housing the trams and buses. It mainly run buses in Kolkata and it’s adjoining districts and some long distance services too. In 2013, CTC Nonapukur Workshop fabricated an AC bus coach tram car named “Charaibati“ . Later another AC tram car named “Rupasi Bangla” was introduced.
These trams are run in joyrides at fixed time on certain routes on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The bus fleet consists of Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Eicher Motors, Volvo and Mahindra. There are 25 AC buses among which 14 are Volvo 9100, 6 are Tata 1618c, Bebbco body built (Bio-toilet enabled) and 5 are AL Viking based AC buses (4 built by Garrison, 1 by Bebbco). CTC has restored an old tramcar named “Smaranika” which is preserved at Esplanade CTC Tram cum Bus terminus. It first coach acts as a cafeteria while the second coach houses a small museum where relics and photographs related to CTC are kept.
West Bengal Surface Transport Corporation (WBSTC)
Established in 1992, it was formed to operate water transport in West Bengal and a few bus services. The bus services are mainly operated in Kolkata and suburbs and it also runs some long distance services to Digha and various places in South 24 Parganas . WBSTC has 2 depots and a fleet of nearly 20 buses. Being the first STU in West Bengal to run Volvo buses, the fleet of WBSTC also consists of Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. WBSTC has leased many of its routes and buses to private operators. Companies like Greenline, Shyamoli etc. run AC buses to various places in Bangladesh on routes leased by WBSTC.
WBTC at present
Since the formation of WBSTC, there has been an efficient management with proper utilisation of staffs and buses. Many old and idle buses are being renovated in phases by in house workshops and some private bus body builders. WBTC has started issuing Smart Cards for passengers and also launched a GPS based real time bus tracking cum Bus information app, “Pathadisha” in March 2017. The app is a successful one though it has not been available for all buses and routes presently. WBTC is trying to introduce GPS based tracking for all routes and buses by the end of this year.
By Satayu Gohsh