'Rude' bus conductors render concession for elders ineffective

Cite lack of tickets of small denominations to deny benefit

'Rude' bus conductors render concession for elders ineffective

The Bangalore Metro Transport Corporation (BMTC) claims to be ferrying about 45 lakh passengers every day in its buses. But an important section of the society - the senior citizens - seems to be a dissatisfied lot.

Conductors in the BMTC buses refuse to ply them at subsidised fares, which they are entitled to. As a result, more often than not, there are arguments on both sides and conductors, mostly on the pretext that they do not have tickets of lesser denominations, refuse them the concession.

On the other hand, senior officials of BMTC say that it is obligatory for the conductors to give tickets at concessional rates to senior citizens.

Speaking with Deccan Herald, G N Veeregowda, General Manager (Traffic), said, “All the conductors are duty bound to give concessions to senior citizens. In fact, prior to leaving the depots, the buses are supposed to carry a fare chart, which includes the concessional fares for senior citizens. It is wrong to allege that BMTC does not provide them with tickets of lesser denominations. If there is any senior citizen who has had such a problem, they can complain to us along with the bus number and the route details. Appropriate action will be taken against those found guilty”.

As per rules, BMTC offers a concession of 25 per cent on fares for senior citizens. On producing an identity card indicating their age (like a driving licence), the senior citizens can avail of the discount fares.

V Nagaraj, 76, a retired official from ITI in Bangalore, said, “ It has happened to me twice. Conductors refused to give me the tickets for the discount fares, citing unavailability of lower denomination tickets. Once I was travelling from K R Puram to Ulsoor. The situation got so out of hand that I feared that if I continued to argue with the conductor, he would probably hit me, as he was getting abusive.”

 On being asked as to why he did not lodge a complaint with the BMTC authorities, he said, “Do you think the higher-ups will bother about my complaint, when the conductor on the ground is refusing to acknowledge my age?” he said.

Sulochana, 70, a resident of Jeevan Bima Nagar, had a similar experience to share. 

“I took a bus from near my house to go to Shivajinagar. When I showed the conductor my senior citizen ID card, he refused to give me a concession. He started arguing and asked if I could show him a written order. I thought there was no point arguing with him for Rs 2 as the other passengers started staring at me”.

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