BMTC Volvo fares too high, say ITPL commuters

BMTC volvos seem to be running empty in Whitefield.

Bengaluru: If the BMTC wanted to encourage Whitefielders to abandon their cars and take to public transport, then the government-run corporation has got it all wrong. After the BMTC introduced Volvos with much fanfare a few days ago, these air-conditioned buses aimed at the “elite crowd” in Whitefield are running empty, as commuters find fares too high.

“The Volvo bus fare from ITPL/Whitefield to Richmond Circle is Rs 101. This is too much. Volvos – Route No.s 500 C and 335 – line up three in a row, waiting for commuters. The Vajra fleet has not been optimised and these buses run empty too,” said Mr Pravir Bagrodia, a resident and a volunteer at Whitefield Rising, who also said that not a single Volvo touches Whitefield Main Road.

“The monthly pass for an AC bus costs Rs 2,250. This is expensive and people prefer to take their cars to work. Not everyone can afford public transportation if the fares are so high. At the same time, the ordinary bus pass is Rs 1,050 per year,” Mr Bagrodia pointed out. Unsurprisingly, ordinary buses are crowded and are inadequate in number.

Also, the BMTC app is not up to the mark and throws up nonexistent buses, Whitefield residents complained. “Months after BMTC stopped plying Vajra services towards Varthur, its app lists frequent services to Graphite Junction and ITPL. Volvo 335EP and Volvo 335PE, from Kodihalli to Whitefield post office keep showing up but never arrive," Mr Bagrodia claimed. The recent reduction in ticket fares for shorter distances in Whitefield has not helped. Fare rationalisation from Rs 12 to Rs 10 is long overdue, Mr Bagrodia said. BMTC is waiting for induction of 4,500 buses. 3,000 were announced as part of this year's state budget, while 1,500 were pending for the last one year. How many of these make it to Whitefield remains to be seen.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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