Students feel cheated as no waiver on BMTC bus passes

Uncertainty prevailed over the free bus pass promised by the previous Congress government, as ministers in the subsequent Congress-JD(S) alliance did not take a firm stand on the issue.

As students get their bus passes from BMTC, four months after the academic year began, they feel letdown that the Corporation is not accounting for the bus fares they paid until now.

Uncertainty prevailed over the free bus pass promised by the previous Congress government, as ministers in the subsequent Congress-JD(S) alliance did not take a firm stand on the issue. Now, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) dashed the students’ hopes.

“They should’ve reduced the prices,” Shivani, a BCom student, told DH. “This pass is valid for the remainder of the academic year, which will end by March or April. The pass is actually useful for seven or eight months. Rest of the time, there’ll be exams or vacations.”

BMTC Managing Director V Ponnuraj pointed out that students were allowed free commute when they showed fee receipt, ID card or acknowledgement issued by the college.

"We would have collected the same amount if we had issued the passes earlier,” Ponnuraj said. “So, I don’t see any difference (now).”

The BMTC smart card is valid for three to five years, which students could renew every year depending on the duration of their course. “This’s the usual and maximum relaxation that the corporation is giving every year,” The MD said.

Hemanth, a second year PU student at Vijaya College, said free pass became a political game. “We never asked for the free pass,” he assured. “It’d have been helpful if they had issued the passes at the beginning of the academic year.”

He said not all bus conductors complied with BMTC’s instructions to let students ride for free. “Some conductors didn’t acknowledge documents and forced us to buy tickets or asked us to get down from the bus.”

Ponnuraj responded by saying the Corporation would take firm action against conductors or officials failing to follow its instructions. “They can report those not allowing them free ride. They’ve time till this month end to get passes and could ride free producing documents mentioned,” he said.

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Students feel cheated as no waiver on BMTC bus passes

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