Post-toll hike, BMTC may up Vayu Vajra fares marginally

Post-toll hike, BMTC  may up Vayu Vajra fares marginally

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is contemplating increasing the fares on buses headed for the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) following the increase in the toll on the expressway to the airport.

Passing the burden on to its customers, the BMTC will increase the Vayu Vajra fares marginally. The common man will be at the receiving end again as it will be the second time in a short span of time that the fare will be increased. The BMTC had increased fares by 15 per cent on April 24.

Kumar Pushkar, director (IT), BMTC, told Deccan Herald on Sunday that the hike had taken a toll on the BMTC. “We will inevitably have to pass it on to the commuters,” he said. While BMTC buses had to previously shell out Rs 105 each trip, post the hike, the toll will be Rs 355, which is more than three times the existing rate.

The official said that the divisional controller had been asked to calculate what the increase ought to be.

The BMTC is awaiting response from the Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway Private Limited, the project promoters, for the request seeking monthly pass for the buses.

“For two months now, we have been asking for monthly passes at a lower rate,” he said.

Pushkar said there were clues about the proposal for a hike. But an increase this high came as a shock even to the Transport department.

“It is nearly a three-fold increase and it is pretty shocking,” he said.

BMTC drivers were caught unawares about the hike on Saturday midnight. “We are taken by surprise,” said Chandru Singh, the driver of the one of the first Vayu Vajra buses that passed by the toll gate after the hike.

Ravindra, a City-based businessman who travels by the expressway frequently, expressed dissatisfaction. “I take a flight to Chennai at least three times a week.

I shell out Rs 200 each time I travel to the airport on the Vayu Vajra bus. If the bus fares go up, we will all be in a difficult spot,” he said.

Ravindra said that if the National Highways Authority of India could at least slash the fares of government-run transport services, it would help a lot of people.

Sowbhagyaprada, project manager at Wipro, said, “I have travelled out of the City by air four times in the past six months. I used the KIA bus services thrice. Each time I spent Rs 230 to Rs 250 one way. If the fares go up manifold, it makes more sense to take a cab which charges a flat rate and offers you comfort rather than spending almost the same amount on a bus.”

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