BMTC night bus service remains a non-starter

BMTC night bus service remains a non-starter

The corporation now focused on rationalising existing routes

BMTC night bus service remains a non-starter

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which announced that it will introduce night bus service three weeks ago, seems to be having second thought on the plan.

The corporation says that it is now focused on rationalising the existing schedules and ensuring that loss-making, empty schedules are curtailed.

The move, sources said, was to peg the corporation’s loss of Rs 140 crore. State Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy had informed that BMTC would start night bus services in ten days.

However, the ground work to gauge the need of residents in specific areas is yet to begin. Officials said they are not averse to introducing night buses. “However, first we will have to collaborate with the police to ensure security and safety of commuters at night, besides working out schedules, routes, frequency and staff positioning,” officials  said.

According to them, it may take at least two months to do the ground work and get the service going, in addition to about 70 buses already plying in the night to ITPL,  Outer Ring Road, railway stations et al.

Ensure safety measures

BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez said, “We are taking the demand positively. We would start the service. But we also have to ensure safety measures are in place and staff is available. Also we need 60 to 70  buses before we start the service. Further, the minister is out of the country,” he added.

The demand for night services has been there for a long time.  But a push from online petition on after night life hours were extended till 1 am, set the ball rolling.

The volunteers of  conducted a survey to find out how many people in Bangalore feel that the BMTC should extend services till late in the night. As many as 13,000 people signed the online petition.

As many as 6,800 people were given a questionnaire seeking responses on whether they travelled by BMTC buses, if so, how often, and whether they think that BMTC services should be extended till late night. According to the survey, 80 per cent of respondents said they used public transport, in particular, BMTC buses regularly and  98 per cent said BMTC buses should run after 10 pm.