When the BMTC took citizens for a ride

Last Updated 09 February 2013, 18:41 IST

Citizens, if you are among those that do not believe in air shows, and are better off attending to host of prior commitments this Sunday, then, be forewarned, simply defer it.

Either, if not so urgent, and possible, you would be better off to just postpone it to the next weekend or if still inevitable and absolutely necessary to attend to this Sunday, then be prepared for a costly BMTC surprise. Of course, the show-goers headed to the Air Force Base, Yelahanka, having bought the tickets, have no choice but to bear the BMTC’s brunt to the full.

Cashing in on the crowd-pull factor of the Aero India show, the public transporter, which has taken to running a battery of buses styled ‘Aero India Show Specials,’ has greedily turned it into a cash milking cow for the organisation.

This is utterly and unjustly impervious to the fact that it is fleecing gullible people by heftily rising bus fares. Even if one were to condone this greedy act of the corporation, what, however, drives the final nail in already fleeced unsuspecting commuters is that none of the passes they have procured is valid for travel on these so called ‘specials.’

While the BMTC’s idea of suddenly hiking the cost of travel for these two days may be to ensure that its buses are not perilously jampacked, putting the lives of the commuters in danger on the busy highway, fleecing them and taking them for a costly ride was not only unwarranted, but also unjustifiable.

More so, when BMTC discouraged those already baked in the scorching sun from boarding the bus, even if they have passes. Only the wise men of the corporation can tell what’s so special about these buses on these two days.

Even regular commuters found it strange that the BMTC doubled its fares on the route, to various destinations, and they were caught unawares with the rather rude and tough talking drivers and conductors insisting either the commuters simply debus and prolong their wait or cough up that extra sum.

What was even more intriguing was BMTC buses with normal fares, which for the first three days of the air show were aplenty and running by the dozens, seemed to have just vanished into thin air on Saturday. Not only did this blatant unfair act of the corporation lead to frayed tempers among the travellers, it also stopped short of fisticuffs and physical action.

With none of the buses nor its operators — driver and conductors — giving any proof that the fares have been changed and orders passed to that effect, it was either pay up or trek all the way back to the next possible point where normal fare buses would be available.

So, as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. Yes, citizen commuters, it’s your call now. 

(Published 09 February 2013, 18:41 IST)

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