BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which is already witnessing plummeting revenues, could suffer another blow with the North-South (Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli) Metro corridor being thrown open to the public from Sunday.
Officials admit that the transport utility’s revenue has dropped by 10-15 per cent along Metro’s East-West corridor (Baiyappanahalli to Mysuru Road). They fear that with the Metro North-South corridor passing through profitable bus routes like Majestic and K R Market, a further decline in passenger revenue is in store.
To stem the revenue loss, BMTC will operate 120 feeder buses on 13 routes along the North-South corridor from Monday and also rework some of the existing bus routes along the Metro corridors.
Presently, BMTC is operating 85 feeder buses on 16 routes along the East-West corridor. However, except the service between Majestic and Mantri Mall, all other feeder bus routes are currently reeling under severe losses.
Phase-1 of Namma Metro, built at a cost of `14,405 crore, is expected to ferry five lakh people every day whereas BMTC sees daily ridership of 52 lakh. The transport utility is hoping that the state government will provide at least `1,000 crore as financial assistance and exempt it from paying road taxes so that it can reduce fares and draw more passengers.
BMTC pays excise duty, VAT, fuel tax, property tax and toll charges. “We want exemption from these taxes since the BMTC is a service-oriented organisation. The government is not providing adequate funds to us, compared to Metro, even though our buses are ferrying more people,” remarked a senior BMTC official. BMTC’s passenger revenue has already dipped due to competition from private cabs and Metro. The hike in salaries of employees and diesel prices also reduced its revenue. Corporation chairman M Nagaraj Yadav said there is a proposal to reduce fares, especially in AC buses, and introduce concessional passes for construction workers.
Sources say poor coordination between BMTC and BMRCL still remains a challenge for last-mile connectivity.
BMTC feeder buses
Baiyappanahalli to Mysuru Road
No of feeder
No of buses: 85
No of trips: 1,224
NEW FEEDER SERVICES
Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli
No of feeder
No of buses: 120
No of trips: 1,918
Frequency of buses: 10-15 minutes