BENGALURU: Within a year, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will install LED boards in all of its buses.
Sources from the corporation said over 1,000 old buses will be replaced with new ones which will have LED boards that display the stops and destination in multiple languages.
The development is in response to the demands put forth by citizens from other parts of the country who cannot read the Kannada sign boards.
Even though most new buses, including Volvos, have English and Kannada LED boards, the regular blue-and-white BMTC buses don’t have signboards in English.
Confirming the news, Ekroop Kaur, managing director, BMTC, said, “Within one year, we are planning to scrap 1,000 old buses and get new buses with multilingual LED boards.”
“I agree that the local language must be given importance. But it is difficult for an outsider to commute within the city when most buses have signboards in Kannada only,” said Chinnu Vinod, a resident of Indiranagar. “In a city like ours with a huge immigrant population, signboards in English would be of great help.”
At present, commuters seek the help of drivers and conductors to find out where the buses go.
“It is difficult sometimes as there might be a rush of people trying to get into the bus,” said Ammu Nair from HSR Layout.
Manjunath, a BMTC conductor from Shivajinagar, said, “I always try to announce where the bus is headed to people standing at the bus stop. Many non-Kannadigas approach me too.”
Though he doesn’t mind helping out those who need information about the route, Manjunath says a signboard in English would help.
“Travelling by bus is difficult for me as I cannot read Kannada. I’ve had to get off buses as I had boarded the wrong ones Google indicated,” shared Janice Agnetha Vaz from Koramangala.
“Even in a city like Mangaluru, the names of bus stops are written in English, which makes travel easier. Such an initiative in Bengaluru will help commuters save a lot of money,” she added.
“People should try to learn the local language. Those who cannot follow the written signs can use the bus numbers or seek the help of the driver or conductor,” said V J K Nair, state unit general secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions.