BENGALURU: BMTC is planning to do away with black-board bus passes, so passengers will have to shell out 27 per cent more for the basic monthly pass.
Currently, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation offers two types of passes. The black-board bus monthly pass is priced at Rs 825 and is meant for a travel limit of 15 km within the city. The black-board bus numbers are routes from 1 to 209.
For those who want to travel beyond 15 km, the transport corporation has red-board passes, priced at Rs 1,050. The red board buses are routes above the number 210. If the BMTC removes the black board bus pass, the basic monthly pass fare will go up to Rs 1,050.
The decision was taken during a recent BMTC meeting, a source in the corporation said, and the proposal will soon be put before the board of directors, who will then take the final call.
Shahheen, a member of citizen group Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike, said, “The idea was to increase the limit from 15 km, not stop black board bus passes. The price was increased by 15 per cent, from `725 to `825, in May, 2013. BMTC is a public transport corporation, not a profit-making institution.”
The members of the group had demanded that black board bus services be extended to cover the whole of the BBMP limits.
“Lakhs of commuters continue to pay irrational amounts for both black- and red-board passes. Many areas inside the city, like Lingarajapuram and Bhoopasandra, have mostly or only red-board buses,” said Shahheen. “This means passengers who travel this way have to pay `225 more, which is unreasonable,” said Shahheen.
However, a BMTC official spokesperson said, “The proposal to remove black-board bus passes has been raised by the corporation in the interest of our passengers. The current system with two categories of passes is troublesome for both commuters and conductors checking the passes. However, a decision is yet to be taken by our board of directors.”
Shekhar V, a daily commuter, said the proposed move was ‘atrocious’. “Commuters using black-board bus passes will have to pay more for travelling a shorter distance than red-board bus passengers,” he said. “This is an additional burden on our pockets.”