Bengaluru: BMTC buses are the city’s lifeline as it ferries close to 50% of Bengaluru’s population which is more than the fledgling service of Namma Metro. However, in the last one-and-a-half years, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has scrapped more buses than it has inducted into its fleet.
During the period, BMTC decommissioned 450 buses, while adding only 292 to its fleet. In fact, only two buses have been added to its fleet since the beginning of this financial year.
"The government seems to be neglecting bus commuters across the country because many cities have the same problem. The bus infrastructure (including buses, bus-stops) is in a bad shape. There are not enough buses but the bus fares are very high. So, hopefully at least the Karnataka government should think about the present population and introduce new buses,” said Ms Preethi, a city commuter.
The BMTC added 1,993 new buses since 2014-15 to date but has scrapped 2,233 vehicles. At present, the corporation has a fleet of 6,513 buses, which is inadequate to meet the needs of Bengaluru.
"It's a common complaint from commuters that the state governments spend huge amounts on mobility projects. But spend barely a percentage of it is on buses. For instance in Bengaluru, we see a lot of funding going into infrastructure that caters to private vehicles or the Metro. Buses carry more people in a day than the Metro does, though buses get a disproportionately small amount of Rs 200-300 crore a year, that too just in the past two years. Let's hope that the government thinks about it and increases the number and investment," Mr Purushotham P., an advocate and urban expert, told Deccan Chronicle.
Sources said that BMTC will add 300 electric buses to its fleet by the end of the year as planned, but experts say it isn’t enough as they estimate the number required to be around 9,000 buses....