BENGALURU: Owing to a string of reforms launched in 2014, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) saw a sharp decline in the number ticketless passenger during the period April to March this year. The corporation saw a 19.31% drop in ticketless travel over a year.
Over 1 lakh passengers travelled without tickets last year. As many as 1,05,268 cases were filed against ticketless travellers from April 2015 to March 2016. But in April 2014 and March 2015, as many as 1,30,473 passengers had been fined for ticketless travel.
The number of offenders had started to increase a year before that, 2013-14, with 1,12,560. The BMTC officials, therefore, decided to step in with new measures in 2014.
“We have been conducting regular checks to catch the defaulting passengers,” said Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, BMTC, Bengaluru. The corporation has formed 20 teams that work on four different shifts.
The corporation has 40 teams, with two members each, to catch offenders on festival days and public holidays. The department plans on increasing the number of these teams in the future. For now, higher officials with the city corporation too have been roped in to lead the line-checking teams.
“In addition to these, we have been taking several other measures to curb ticketless travel by introducing Electronic Ticket machines, Smart Cards and so on,” said Caur.
BMTC officials also owe this decline in ticketless travel to special drives and stringent action against conductors who failed in their duty.
Offenders in the Ranks
BMTC has also taken stringent measures against conductors’ follies. Currently conductors can be booked under three categories of cases — minor offence, where they are penalised with a small fine; Red Mark Case, or RMC, where the conductors have to pay a bigger fine; Outstanding Red Mark Case, or ORMC, where the person is suspended or dismissed from service.
From April 2012 to March 2013, the BMTC had booked 54,914 cases against conductors.
The number of cases slipped a notch – to 54,866 – the next year only to increase to 61,516 in 2014-15.
This year, after the department’s drive, number of defaulting conductors have fallen by a fifth to 47,593 cases.
Counters for Conductors to Get Change
Passengers may file complaint if a conductors fails to pay the balance cost of the ticket saying that they don’t have change. The department provides change and coins from counters at bus stands and depots. Conductors can collect change if they run out of it from these counters. “Passengers can file a complaint with the BMTC if a conductor fails to give them the balance amount with the ticket. They can also approach depot managers, traffic managers and divisional traffic office” said Jayaprakash L, chief security and vigillance officer, BMTC.