That's not 'fare'!

That's not 'fare'!

Travel Travail

That's not 'fare'!

Puzzled : Many passengers do not question the discrepancy in the fare.

Bangalore, with its diverse culture and food, also has a diversity when it comes to buses. The City has a variety of buses like the regular white and blue ones, Pushpak, Suvarna and many others like the Volvo which has the additional facility of air-conditioning.

But travelling in BMTC buses comes with its own set of complications as many passengers will tell you. With each bus charging its own fare, the passengers are left confused.
“I travel from St John’s Road to M G Road everyday. While the distance is the same, I have paid Rs 6, Rs 8 and Rs 10 for the same distance in different buses. The bus G2 charges Rs 6 while B2 charges Rs 8,” says Ramneek, a professional.

“The BMTC is cheating the daily commuters with this system. I travel from Majestic to HAL everyday. Sometimes I pay Rs 13 and sometimes Rs 12 or even Rs 11. On top of that, whether you board a bus at the first stop or in between two stops, you are charged the same amount,” says Ashok Kumar S B, a regular commuter.

“I take a bus from Majestic to Whitefield. It costs me Rs 15 but if I get down at HAL for work and later, catch a bus from there, it costs me Rs 12. On the whole, I end up paying Rs 25,” he adds.

Others have similar complaints too. “There is a difference in the fare but the conductor says it is that much only. So I don’t ask anymore,” says Uma Maheshwari, a housewife.
According to the BMTC, the ticket price also depends on the number of stages to the destination.

On an average, the ticket price increases with each passing stage (about every two kilometres).

Rajappa, a bus conductor explains further, “The fare is specific to the route of a bus and the number of stages it has. For the first four stages, it increases by Rs 2 after which, it increases by Rs 1,” he says.

So irrespective of where you board the bus, the distance that has already been covered by the vehicle, also makes a difference.

“If a passenger wants a route specific chart of fares, he or she can get it from the BMTC office on Double Road,” says Rajappa.

But there are also instances of conductors not issuing a ticket and in turn, decreasing the fare.

“This practice has come down a lot in the past eight to nine months. And if some conductors do that, they do get caught eventually,” says Rajappa. But at the end of the day, only if you ask a question will you get the answer. Nagaraju K, who has been a conductor for 18 years in Bangalore, says, “Very few passengers question us about the fare differences. The only time they bother is if there has been a hike in the rates.”