Airport Volvos warding off cabs for now

Services aligned with flight arrivals; earn revenue of Rs 16l-17l a day

Airport Volvos warding off  cabs for now

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) Volvo services to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) have remained unaffected despite the presence of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.

The corporation continues to generate steady revenue from its Volvo services to the airport over the last three years. This is a surprise as the cab aggregators were expected to make inroads into the revenue stream of the airport services.

The BMTC has made around Rs 16 lakh to Rs 17 lakh per day over a period of two years despite the presence of conventional cab services and new cab aggregators.

 “As of now, there is no cause for concern. Our services and revenue have been steady over the past two years. We have deployed 70 buses in this sector. If the demand goes up, we will increase the services. Alternatively, we will try to enhance the load factor in each bus so that the revenue goes up further,” BMTC Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) B C Renukeshwar said.

 According to the official, the peak hours for the Volvos are in the early morning and late night. The services are aligned with flight arrivals and departures during this time, as passengers would be looking for domestic and international connections. Passengers who board the Volvos say they get an AC service at a far cheaper rate than what it would be in a taxi.

Sanjay Nagarik, a software professional who flies often to the US, says he is happy with the Volvo service. “There are BMTC Volvos waiting in front of the airport as soon as the passengers come out. There is adequate space for luggage and the seats are convenient. You have AC, too. The journey overall in a Volvo is smooth.

 The only constraint is the last-mile connectivity, which BMTC has to work out. I call my dad to pick me up from the point at which I get down. That’s how I manage to reach home. If it can solve the last-mile connectivity problem, BMTC will stand to gain a lot,” says Nagarik.

On the other hand, the BMTC is keeping a close watch on the cabs and Zipgo services. It is not a legal service and is not supposed to function as a stage carrier in which it picks up passengers at different spots. The BMTC has lodged a complaint with the Transport Department against Zipgo and the transport commissioner is now looking into its operations. Picking up people at different points is not legal and BMTC staff have seen Zipgo doing this. 

“We want a case booked against Zipgo if it is violating the law and rules of the Motor Vehicles Act. We have been told that cases have been booked against five vans. Sustained action against them will alone bring down their operations,” Renukeshwar said.

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