BMTC seeks 3,500 new buses

BMTC seeks 3,500 new buses

Ageing fleet, increasing passenger load call for fleet augmentation

BMTC seeks 3,500 new buses

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has forwarded a proposal to the State government seeking 3,500 more buses.

The most important aspect of a bus service is the passenger load. The BMTC now carries around 51 lakh passengers every day on 6,418 buses and many more are needed to cater to the increasing passenger load. “According to our assessment, the demand for buses is high from the south and east areas of the City. The new buses will mainly cater to these two regions, though the north and west will not be ignored. The general feeling is that the demand for buses in Bengaluru is fractured - some regions want more compared to others. We have placed a request for new buses taking into account the population growth over the next two years and the need to weed out old buses. We are waiting for the State government’s response,” B C Renukeshwar, Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) told Deccan Herald.

The south and east regions include Jayanagar, JP Nagar, BTM Layout, Central Silk Board, Sarjapur, Whitefield, Mahadevapura and parts of Krishnarajapuram. Senior BMTC officials say that the mushrooming of new offices on the ring road and the increase and spread of technology hubs have fuelled the demand in these regions. Many people travel from Jayanagar and JP Nagar to Sarjapur and Whitefield and to Electronics City too. BMTC has also tied up with many companies in ITPB and Infosys in Electronics City and Manyata Tech Park near Hebbal to ferry employees to and from work.

The demand for buses is also high because autorickshaws, with a fare of Rs 13/km and a minimum fare of Rs 25, are expensive.

Taxis also charge in the range of Rs 150-200 a trip. BMTC fares are around Rs 25 at the higher end and around Rs 17 and Rs 12 at the middle and lower ends respectively. Travelling by bus seldom costs more than Rs 60 or Rs 70 a day and works out cheaper if one buys a pass.

Renukeshwar also said BMTC’s ageing buses have exceeded their mileage and their maintenance has become a burden.

A frequent BMTC commuter, Pratap J says, “Old buses ply slowly, causing traffic jams and take longer to reach destinations. The journey becomes tedious, especially when the bus is crowded. Many of us acutely feel the need for new buses, but we have to wait for the government’s nod.”