Volvo fares are high, make them reasonable

Volvo fares are high, make them reasonable

Volvo fares are high, make them reasonable

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has a bus for every class. But what stands out in comfort and appearance are the Volvo buses, also called the Vajra. How far have these buses been meeting the needs of public in terms of connectivity and fare charges, is a question most commuters ask. Deccan Herald interacts with regular commuters to know their opinion about the Volvo services.

Chandru K S, an employee at HP, says he opts for the Volvo’s as there are very few regular buses plying on his route. He travels from Banashankari to his work place at Eco Space, Bellandur, Outer Ring Road.  “The regular buses are always overcrowded. So I have to depend on Volvo buses though the fares are a bit high. Two people doing car pooling works out cheaper than both of them using Volvo bus. Sometimes, I use my own vehicle to reach my office,” he says.

Chandru also talks about the frequent breakdowns of Volvo buses in high traffic. He elaborate: “Most of the buses are poorly maintained, especially the old buses. Inside, it looks very dusty and not cleaned properly. Since the frequency is not so great and mostly the buses are crowded, breakdowns will cause a lot of inconvenience.”

Contradicting his view is Nishanth N, who feels that the Volvo services are good in comfort and maintenance. He works as HR Operations at Synophic Systems Private Limited and travels regularly in Volvo from Kalyan Nagar to Marathahalli. But he feels that pricing has been on the higher side ever since the Volvo buses started operations. “There is a need to reduce the fare so that more people start using it. I can see commuters using the bus only during peak hours. But it should also attract people even after peak hours so that there is uniformity of commuters. If this continues, the BMTC might start running on loss.”

No alternative

Frequency of regular buses is very poor from Electronics City to Silk Board, says, Nazia Nazir, HR Talent Acquisition at SRA OSS, Marathahalli. “Considering this, I prefer Volvo buses. I have to catch two buses to reach my office. Fares should be reasonable as people like me who travel long distances feel the pinch,” says Nazia.

Echoing a similar opinion is Smitha Netto, HR Administration at Toshiba India Pvt Ltd, who travels from Jeevan Bima Nagar to Koramangala. She says: “There are only a few regular buses plying from my place to Koramangala. Travelling by autorickshaws is not feasible for me as the drivers prefer their own route and use tampered meters. So, I am left with only Volvo as my option to reach office.”
Smith then talks about the maintenance issues with the Vajra service. “Sometimes even these high-end buses breaks down, causing a lot of inconvenience to commuters.  Whenever that happens, the drivers or traffic officials should take immediate steps to clear the traffic and arrange for alternative transport for bus passengers,” she opines.

Most passengers prefer to travel in comfort as their work places are scattered all over the city. Shahshibala, employee, Karnataka Bank, says, “I give importance to comfort while using public transport and Volvo buses gives me that hassle-free travel experience. Travelling in regular buses is a nightmare. With more people hopping into regular buses, there is hardly any space to breathe. I do feel that the fare does not suit the middle-income group. It should be made reasonable.”

High expectations

Since the Volvo fares are high, expectations on maintenance are higher. “I feel that they should spend more on giving timely service to these buses so that the breakdown incidents decreases gradually. I guess there is no mechanism to tow these huge buses. I have come across such incidents where it took more than two hours to clear the jam,” says Shashibala.

The city traffic police play a major role when Volvo buses break down. Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, R Hithendra, says the police find it very difficult to clear these buses when they stop in the middle of the road, especially during peak hours.

Hithendra explains, “We cannot push the Volvo bus aside as it is not a regular bus. Whenever it breaks down, traffic policemen use vacuum pipes to connect to the steering so that it gets released. We then try to push them aside, but it takes at least one to two hours to clear the traffic jam. The BMTC should consider the issue seriously to ensure smooth flow of traffic.”

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