BMTC's dilemma: Connectivity or cutting losses

BMTC's dilemma: Connectivity or cutting losses

As demand for first and last-mile connectivity to the metro stations goes up every day, the BMTC seems to be caught between the need to keep its losses under control while providing more buses.

Sources said the BMTC  anticipated a loss of about Rs 250 crore last month. The corporation got a huge relief after the state government waived the motor vehicle tax, cutting its losses by Rs 120 crore.

Responding to demands by activists and citizens, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) chairman Nagaraj Yadav had said on Saturday that feeder buses were running empty, which would cause a loss of about Rs 20 crore this year.

Asked about the losses on Sunday, he said he couldn’t comment on figures but the corporation’s troubles were not over. “As an independent corporation, we are expected to make a profit and sustain ourselves. The government’s recent moves have reduced the pressure. But BMTC can meet demands of public only if it is declared as part of essential services so that we don’t have the pressure to make a profit,” he said.

Stating that the BMTC carries about 50 lakh people per day compared to Namma Metro’s average ridership of 3.5 lakh, he urged the state government to invest about Rs 500 crore in the corporation.

“We have seen our ridership going up by 25,000 after we reduced the fares in April. We can bring it down further if the state and Centre make changes at the policy level. It will also help us to take on private players like Ola and Uber by making public transport attractive,” he added.

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