BMTC’s flat fare starts at Rs 5

BMTC’s flat fare starts at Rs 5

Credit: DH Photo

After bitter complaints that its passes are too costly, the BMTC has introduced flat fares with effect from Tuesday.

The new charge allows passengers to travel for two kilometres for Rs 5 and four kilometres for Rs 10. For rides up to five or six kilometres, they would pay Rs 15, with Rs 30 being the maximum fare for rides up to 41 kilometres and beyond.

“In view of the public demand, a proposal was sent to the government for the introduction of the flat fare system and the same was approved. Preparedness is made for implementing (the flat fares) with effect from May 26,” the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation said in a release.

The corporation drew flak for its May 18 decision to make daily, weekly, and monthly passes compulsory to ride the city bus. Riders complained that they cannot spend Rs 70 on a daily pass just to ride a short distance.

Officials justified the passes to avoid cash transactions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to ensure social distancing inside the buses.

With the introduction of the flat fares, conductors will have a separate bag for cash collection, while other social-distancing rules will remain the same. The number of passengers in a bus will be limited to 30, as the corporation urged the public not to crowd the buses.

“Passengers will need to provide the exact (fare) amount while travelling. For the safety of the public, all passengers must compulsorily wear masks,” it added.

The Bengaluru Bus Prayanaikara Vedike said the flat fares will provide immediate relief to large sections of commuters excluded or burdened by the high cost of the daily pass.

“The new fare structure, being in multiples of five, limits cash exchanges since it would be easier for people carry change,” said Shaheen Shasa, a member of the Vedike. “We, however, urge the BMTC not to deboard people (from the buses) if they don’t have exact change.”

Digital ticketing in two weeks

The BMTC will extend a digital ticketing system based on the QR code to all its buses in the next two weeks.

It said in a release that the system has been implemented in 750 buses and will be scaled up to include all the buses. Officials have been testing the system for the past two months and have held talks with banks and other officials to iron out the issue. The corporation has also tested the system in real-time over the last two weeks.

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