"If only the GoK supported the BMTC they wouldn’t have to talk about profit or losses.”

Bengaluru alters bus ticket rates with some cuts on short routes activists cry eyewashFacebook/ Representational Image
news Civic issues Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 18:57

Starting Friday, you’ll have to shell out more for bus tickets in Bengaluru for most routes - unless you’re travelling less than 4km. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation announced its revised fares on Wednesday.

Cheaper

In the Non-AC buses, prices have been reduced for passengers travelling a distance between 2-4 km and for AC buses, prices have been slashed for passengers travelling upto 2 km, distances between 4-8 km and distances between 26-28 kms.

This means existing fares of Rs 12 will become Rs 10 for non-AC buses, and for AC buses existing fares of Rs 15, Rs 35, Rs 45, and Rs 95 (26-28 kms) will be reduced to Rs 10, Rs 30, Rs 40, and Rs 90 respectively.

“Around 25% of all our riders fall in the second stage category. About 50% travel between the first two stages (up to 4 km). This reduction will help them,” Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said.

Expensive

For non-AC buses, existing fares of Rs 14, Rs 19, Rs 21 have been increased to Rs 15, Rs 20 and Rs 22 respectively.

For AC buses, existing fares of Rs 70, Rs 80, Rs 95, Rs 105, and Rs 115 will become Rs 75, Rs 85, Rs 100, Rs 110 and Rs 120 respectively.

BMTC claims that the change in fares is likely to create a dent in the revenue of the BMTC.

“We will see a reduction in revenue of Rs 1.5 lakh per day from ordinary buses and Rs 3 lakh per day from premium buses. We shortly plan on introducing special fares for our Vayu Vajra services to the Kempegowda International Airport as well,” BMTC Managing Director Ekroop Caur was quoted by The Hindu.

Activists, however, are not happy with the announcement. The Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike (BBPV) and the Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) who have been demanding ‘double the fleet and halve the fare’, called the announcement “an eyewash”.

“Be it the displaced slum dwellers, or IT Park staff and workers; they all commute a long distance. This reduction of fares only in the initial stages will not help them. Insignificant reduction of fares is not going to help the cause, and will in fact increase the already existing burden on BMTC,” Vinay Sreenivasa of BBPV said.

“BMTC MD Ekroop Caur has stated that they will incur a total loss of Rs. 4.5 lakh per day by reducing the fares as announced. If only the GoK supported the BMTC they wouldn’t have to talk about profit or losses,” a joint statement read.

Activists also feel that this move will not help in curbing traffic snarls and air pollution. 

"This is but a token gesture by the BMTC, a ‘rationalisation’ exercise as they themselves term it. This sort of measure brings little relief to the passenger, traffic congestion and air pollution in Bangalore. The minimum needed is for GoK to at least run a pilot for three months with half ticket fares and see the impact for themselves,” Tara Krishnaswamy, a memeber of Citizens for Bengaluru, said.

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