BENGALURU: A forum of regular bus commuters on Tuesday urged the CM to announce a ‘Bus Bhagya’ scheme in the upcoming budget to enable state transport services to reduce fares further.
Members of the Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike have started an online campaign demanding the scheme on the lines of the Anna Bhagya and Ksheera Bhagya introduced by Siddaramaiah. They demanded that fares be reduced by a maximum of Rs 5 within 10 km, Rs 10 up to 20 km and Rs 15 beyond 20 km.
In addition, the members demanded daily bus passes at Rs 25 and monthly passes at Rs 250, besides free passes for workers earning less than the minimum wages.
“Our demands also include a Rs 1,000-crore grant for BMTC to reduce fares, purchase of ordinary buses and meeting pending salary/PF/ESI/insurance expenses of BMTC workers. A grant of Rs 300 crore must be sanctioned to the BBMP to build bus stops,” a statement from the group said.
They cited the example of Tamil Nadu government, which foots the salary bills of its transport corporations, Andhra Pradesh, where taxes are returned, and Mumbai, where a Rs 150-crore grant is provided by the government. Bus fares were recently reduced after repeated demands following the reduction in diesel and petrol prices.
But most transport corporations remain financially weak and a reduction in bus fares will deprive them of profits, officials say.