BENGALURU: Fed up of crowded buses during peak hours? Here’s good news, especially for techies. Private mini-buses could be connecting you to the IT corridors soon. The BMTC is the sole provider of bus transport in Bengaluru. Private operators will be allowed to run mini-buses with 15 to 22 seats, according to a proposal.
“We are examining the legal implications, since BMTC holds the exclusive right to run public transport in the city. The Transport Department will have to issue stage carriage permits to private firms,” said a BMTC official.
The department recently stopped the introduction of private maxi-cabs on the grounds that intra-city transport was the BMTC’s look-out. The BMTC will not allow money transactions on the private buses. “Availability of seats will be displayed on the BMTC website and commuters will have to book their seats online,” an official source said.
The idea is to generate revenue for BMTC and tackle congestion in the IT corridors by reducing the number of cars. “We are yet to decide on the fares,” said another BMTC official.
Techies welcome the proposal. “Most BMTC buses, including the airconditioned Volvos, are packed. The online booking also sounds good,” said Srinivas Rao, a techie. But urban expert M N Sreehari is not so upbeat. “Private firms ply only on profit-making routes. The arrangement may also lead to corruption,” he said.
The BMTC is facing a financial crunch, especially after this month’s revision of salaries. It has not added any new buses since December 2014. The BMTC deploys about 700 buses to corporate destinations. About 50 companies have tied up with it to pick up and drop their employees.