Desperate search for night bus

Crew absenteeism hits BMTC night service expansion

Desperate search for night bus

Stumped by unauthorised absenteeism among drivers and conductors, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is in a spot of bother.

This is why despite recruiting 3,500 staffers to these posts last year, BMTC says it cannot find enough crew to introduce more night service buses in the City. 

Public demand for more such services has risen manifold, as corroborated by indepedent surveys and online petitions. But, as BMTC IT official Kumar Pushkar told Deccan Herald, the crew shortage worsened by absenteeism has emerged as a major constraint. Security is another issue. 

“The night life in the city has been extended for people who drink, and it is our moral duty to ensure our drivers and conductors are safe too,” explained Pushkar.

Currently, BMTC operates 62 night schedules, of which 54 are by ordinary buses, and four each by Volvo and Pushpak services. The ordinary night service buses run a total of 488 trips, covering a combined distance of 7,152 kms. 

16 trips

The Volvo’s mainly operate between Kempegowda Bus Statio
n (KBS), Attibele and Hebbal. The 16 trips cover a total distance of 564.8 kms. 

BMTC operates 50 trips of Pushpak services to cover a total distance of 8,188 kms. All these services run between KBS and Maruti Mandira, Mahalakshmi Layout, Sultanpalya and Shivajinagar bus station. 

KBS fixation

Bulk of the 54 ordinary night services, 47 to be precise, are operated between KBS and destinations across the City. BTM Layout, Yelahanka Satellite Town 4th and 5th phases, Chandra Layout, and Peenya 2nd stage are among the areas most served. BMTC officials said the night time connectivity between the City, KR Puram, Cantonment and Yeswanthpura railway stations will be improved.

But there is a big number of Bangaloreans whose demand for night service buses go beyond these limited trips and destinations. 

The onlilne survey arranged by a city-based lawyer, Shashank Kumar through the portal, change.org, had about 7,000 respondents seeking more buses beyond 10 pm. Forty-five per cent of them used such existing services daily, while 35 per cent had taken these buses several times a week. Twelve per cent had used the night bus at least once a week.

As many as 13,000 commuters had signed an earlier petition by Kumar seeking extension of bus timings till midnight. 

BMTC MD, Anjum Parvez had acknowledged it but sought further evidence of the demand. This had triggered the online survey.

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