BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday unveiled BMTC buses, smart cards and the renovated skywalk at Kempegowda bus station. He also announced that SC/ST students across the state will get free bus passes.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, BMTC introduced smart cards to facilitate cashless transaction in purchasing BMTC tickets and passes. BMTC has planned to implement the Open Loop Smart Card based fare collection system.
A BMTC official said, “These are EMV enabled cards and can be used as e-wallet. These cards can be used as passes for commuting in buses and supports mobility card system.”
State transport minister Ramalinga Reddy said, “In the first phase, smart cards will be issued to four lakh students. The smart cards will be issued from October 1.”
Siddaramaiah also unveiled the premium segment AC buses which abide by BS-IV norms. He said 3,000 such buses will be on the roads. The bus will have two surveillance cameras and real time information about arrival and departure. He said that state has sanctioned grants for purchase of 1,500 more buses.
The distribution of smart cards to high school and PU college students too was initiated. Students will now get smart cards instead of passes. A student will have to pay `25 to avail the smart card.
CM announces Bus ‘Bhagya’ for SC/ST students
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that SC and ST students will be issued free bus passes. “The government was planning to distribute free bus passes to backward class students in Bengaluru with BMTC but two transport corporations were also included.”
As Siddaramaiah announced the initiative, an audience member who was sitting in the public gallery at Kempegowda bus station asked, “It is a welcome move to distribute free bus passes to SC and ST students. But what about general reservation students? Let them also avail the facility.”
Reacting to him, the CM said, “There is no discrimination in any regard. The facility is being given from SC and ST funds of the state social welfare ministry. I have considered your advise and will look into it.”
Smart cards at bus stops
Kempegowda, Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar, Dommalur, Banashankari, Koramangala, Yeshwanthpur, Kengeri, Jayanagar, Vijayanagar, ITPL.
JP Nagar, Nagarbhavi, Rajaji nagar, RT Nagar, Indiranagar, Kodigehalli, Sanjaya nagar, Jeevanahalli, KR Puram, Kaval Bhairasandra, Malleswaram, Basaveshwaranagar.