Metro feeder buses bleed BMTC

Metro feeder buses bleed BMTC
While there is no shortage of enthusiasm in BMTC to connect Metro with feeder services, the operation is hurting the corporation which now fears a loss of Rs 16 crore.

“There were 85 buses in the feeder service which cost us Rs 2.5 crore between October 2016 and March 2017. We have deployed 120 additional buses after Namma Metro’s entire Phase 1 became operational last week. The projected loss by the operation of 200 buses is about Rs 16 crore,” said Ekroop Caur, managing director, BMTC.

Stating that BMTC was eager to bridge the last-mile connectivity, the managing director, however, noted that the corporation can’t afford making losses.

“Feeder service is a good idea. It will decongest roads by encouraging people to leave their vehicles behind. If we stabilise and break-even, we won’t need any help. But till then, we can’t suffer losses,” she said.

The BMTC has written to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to compensate for its losses. However, there has been no response from the Metro authorities yet. While BMTC officials refused to comment on the possible outcomes, senior officials in the government said the whole process was the result of the communication gap the state government has created between the two corporations.

“The managing directors of BMTC and BMRCL had a place in each other’s board of directors. The government replaced them with their ruling party MLAs, making communication between the two corporations difficult,” an official said.

Officials also noted that feeder services in global cities and even in New Delhi are run by the Metro Corporations. “Metro may take credit for transporting three lakh people a day, but BMTC has been carrying 52 lakh commuters daily for years now,” they said.

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