BANGALORE: “What is Bus Day?” This was the reaction of most BMTC commuters on the eve of yet another bus day. This concept, started in February 2010 with lot of fanfare, is yet to catch up with the citizens of Bangalore. Observed on the fourth day of every month since its inception, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) usually comes out with extra facilities like increasing the schedules for the benefit of thousands of commuters, to wean them away from using their own mode of transportation.
Admitting to the fact, the Managing Director of BMTC, Sreenivas said, “The whole idea of bus day was to change the mindset of the people and make use of public transport as much as possible.” This month, the Bus Day being held tomorrow, BMTC will operate 3,000 additional trips for commuters. City Express interacted with a few commuters from different parts of the city to undertake a reality check on the relevance of bus day.
When City Express interacted with the commuters, to our surprise, ignorance among the people pertaining to this day is what came cross. “I am totally unaware of the bus day. For me, observing a particular day does not make any difference. I am a student and I do not have the leeway to take auto on a regular basis, hence, I travel on buses, be it an ordinary day or bus day. Instead, the authorities concerned can introduce new buses, take action on the last mile connectivity,” said Shweta Devi, a student of BMS college at Basanagudi. Voicing a similar opinion, “What is a bus day and for what? I am concerned with the increasing fares of the buses,” said Siddhu, a LPO (Legal Processing Outsourcing) professional who resides in K R Puram. “I remember vaguely, once Yedurappa made use of the BMTC bus to commute and set an example to the people to use BMTC buses. I do not think such tactics work as it is obvious these ministers and MLAs are never going to use the buses themselves,” said Sheetal M, a resident of Koramanagala.
Pointing towards the media to create more awareness among the people on the importance of bus day, the BMTC MD added, “We have tried to pull in celebrities to promote the event as it attracts attention from the media and public. But it also has a flip side as they end up creating huge traffic snarls. We are also considering involving student communities from various colleges to create awareness to use BMTC buses more and more.”
Sreenivas informed City Express, “Although, we are not introducing any special buses due to some operational issues and clearances from traffic department, there will be additional buses running on the bus day. They will be running on all arterial corridors — HAL Airport Road (ITPL), Sarjapur Road, Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Kanakapura Road, Mysore Road, Magadi Road, Tumkur Road, Bellary Road, Thanisandra Road, Hennur Road and Old Madras Road.” He added, “The corporation has deployed 250 BS IV ordinary buses, 10 Pushpak Plus buses, 27 Volvo buses and eight Carona buses.”
The BMTC presently operates 79,000 trips across the city daily with 5,928 vehicles. However, 100 buses are kept spare, to be used during any emergency.