BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) might be facing a dilemma considering that a driver-cum-conductor has now tested positive for Covid-19. But what is more worrying for them perhaps is commuters rushing into buses throwing social distancing norms to the wind.
TNIE found this to be the case in several localities in the city.
The BMTC had stated that the number of passengers allowed is based on the bus’ seating capacity, i.e
40 passengers. However, it has been found that commuters have been entering the bus in search of a seat. Additional passengers are asked to leave since commuting while standing has been restricted for now.
“There are only a few buses plying on the roads due to Covid-19 and we need to travel by bus. If we opt for an auto or a cab, we have to shell out more than Rs 100.
We have no other choice but to fight for a seat,” said Priyam Vardhan, a commuter who was travelling from Shivaji Nagar to Lingarajapuram. “This virus is one thing and survival is another. If we spend all our money now on other expenses, then post Covid-19 we might have nothing to sustain ourselves considering that people are losing jobs. Unfortunately, people like us have to think long term and have savings,” said another commuter.
With cases on the rise, a BMTC source said that drivers and conductors are not keen on plying. Bengaluru alone has reported 17 cases as on Thursday. “We can have the queuing system in place. But will commuters follow? Our conductors are doing a fine job in restricting numbers inside the buses,” said BMTC Managing Director C Shikha. “We will start sending out our Sarathy vehicles and request individuals to line up before entering the buses,” said BMTC Chairperson Nandiesha Reddy. “There needs to be awareness amongst the commuters. It is difficult for us to ensure strict enforcement since crowds keep varying at different places,” he added.