Commuters not satisfied with BMTC, finds study

Commuters not satisfied with BMTC, finds study

A study carried out by professors of IISc and M S Ramiah Management Institute has revealed that daily commuters of City buses feel that Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) should do more to ensure customer satisfaction.

This is according to a study, “Urban Bus Transport Service Quality and Sustainable Development: Understanding the gaps,” conducted to find out the gap between expectations of customers and actual quality of service being provided by the BMTC. 

Factors like the proper maintenance of bus stops, frequency of buses during peak hours, availability of first aid boxes, making buses friendlier for young mothers and physically challenged are some of the areas that BMTC consumers have sought improvement in.

The study gauged the expectations of as many as 186 respondents of different ages, occupations, educational backgrounds, income etc from the City who use BMTC services. Five dimensions were considered to measure the quality of services;  reliability (physical facilities and equipment), tangibility (ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately), responsiveness (willingness to help customers and provide prompt service), assurance (knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence) and empathy (caring and individual attention the firm provides to customers).

Gap analysis

A “gap analysis” of each of these dimensions found that the perception of people was way below the expectation of service provided. For example, under responsiveness dimension, a number of factors like affordability of bus tickets, real value for money, whether or not bus routes are lengthy, convenient location of bus stops, response time to resolve complaints, easy availability of bus information through calls, SMSs and information on the internet were assessed. 

The respondents, however, gave negative ratings to BMTC on all these counts, indicating dissatisfaction with services being currently offered. Similarly, for points that make up assurance dimensions like courteous attitude of drivers and conductors, skills of drivers and availability of safety measures like fire and emergency exits were assessed. 

The study states that “absence of CCTV cameras in buses, presence of open doors leading to occasional falling of passengers from buses etc explains lower level of perception of respondents as compared to expectation, on safety aspects”. 

Moreover, absence or non-functioning of emergency exits, particularly, in ordinary services of BMTC, may also contribute to low expectations, the study suggests.BMTC Information Technology Director Kumar Pushkar said that while points mentioned in the study are “valid,” there was still much scope for improvement. 

“There are issues relating to the physically disabled not being able to enter buses which is why we have asked the Union government for more low-floored buses. In order to check indiscipline by drivers and increase reliability, we have an Intelligent Transport System. No doubt there are number of areas we need to work on. The BMTC, however, has regularly upgraded and improved based on the findings of such studies and the feedback received from passengers,” he said. 

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