Hit by Ola,Uber, BMTC to operate app-based service

BMTC's losses are majorly because of the rising popularity of taxis, which are more economical.

Bengaluru: To counter the intense competition from cab aggregators, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is planning own app-based services that will offer premium buses to commuters, especially office-goers.

As app-based taxis have grown in popularity in the last few years, the transport corporation has been losing Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per bus on some routes.

"BMTC's losses are majorly because of the rising popularity of taxis, which are more economical. The corporation is also losing money because of rising fuel prices and Metro Rail. The app-based bus service has already been tried in Delhi and it has been successful. Our plan is still at the development stage, but it will be on the lines of Delhi plan with some changes to suit the city's needs," said a BMTC senior official.

App-based buses will pick up passengers at one point and drop them at another without stopping in between to either drop or take passengers. The stage carriage permit, as it is called, allows picking up and dropping of passengers in stages at separate fares.

In Delhi, bus aggregators too should have apps like Ola and Uber. They can decide the fares, routes and schedule of trips, which have to be uploaded on their apps. They also should freeze bookings and display a list of passengers five minutes before departure. Only AC buses are allowed to run under the scheme and bus aggregators should have at least 50 vehicles to get the licence from the Transport Department.

The new policy will be more watertight in terms of legality and licensing conditions, especially in terms of the fine line between stage carriage and contract carriage permits.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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