BENGALURU: Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is going through a rough patch, thanks to the delay in procuring new buses, statistics reveal.
The BMTC’s records show that the percentage of cancellations of its schedules due to various reasons such as breakdown and staff members going on leave has increased from 2.5 per cent in 2010-11 to 10.7 per cent in 2015-16 (till August).
Besides, the mileage of BMTC buses has also reduced from 4.01 kmpl (kilometres per litre) in 2010-11 to 3.76 kmpl now, which is lower than the national average of 3.82 kmpl.
Experts say the drastic decline in operational efficiency of the buses is mainly due to its ageing fleet. Vinay Sreenivasa, founder-member of Bangalore Bus Prayanikara Vedike which is campaigning for more buses, said the condition of BMTC buses has turned from bad to worse.
“We have been campaigning for more buses but there has been no substantial effort to purchase them. Shortage of buses is also keeping people away from public transport. BMTC should operate additional mini buses in interior areas, especially in slums, to improve connectivity,” he said.
Sources say the delay in procuring buses has forced BMTC to operate highly aged buses which often breakdown on busy city roads causing traffic congestion. BMTC guidelines state that any bus which has run more than 8 lakh km or is 10 years old should be removed from the fleet. However, statistics show that the existing BMTC fleet has 830 buses that have run for over 8 lakh km, including 199 buses that are more than 10 years old.
A BMTC official said that unfit buses are responsible for the frequent breakdowns. “The maintenance cost of old buses is high. We have been forced to cancel many bus schedules because of the unfit buses. This has also reduced bus frequency and affected revenue.”