Bus capacity not to be increased from Day 1 despite complete reopening of schools in Bengaluru

Schools will function at 100% capacity for Classes 6 and above, but BMTC will gauge the increase in commuters before increasing the fleet or schedules

Published: 01st October 2021 06:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2021 06:10 PM   |  A+A-

BMTC will assess the demand before taking a decision on adding schedules 

BMTC will assess the demand before taking a decision on adding schedules 

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will not be adding to its operations immediately despite Classes 6-12 set to reopen at full strength on Friday. The BMTC will instead wait a few days to assess the demand before taking a decision on adding schedules and how many.

At present, BMTC is running 4,800 non-AC buses as against 5,200 buses that were plying during the pre-pandemic time, and just 43 AC Volvo buses are plying out of 750.

BMTC Managing Director Anbukumar told The New Indian Express that the number of schedules and buses will eventually be increased to meet the demand and instructions are being given for this.

Students have been arriving for offline classes since schools reopened on August 23. But schools were allowed to have offline classes with only 50 per cent capacity, allowing the other 50 per cent on alternate days. This meant a much-reduced demand for BMTC bus travel to and from schools among students of classes 6-12. Even so, commuters witnessed a rush during the beginning and end of school hours.

Sandeep Rao, a netizen, commented that crowding in buses was a common sight these days.

Amogh A, another netizen, tweeted that unless the BMTC runs extra buses, there would not be a way to avoid a rush.

However, officials are depending on the IT crowd to be back to increase the schedules and buses substantially.

“The IT crowd has not returned to the city in full strength. Hence we might not witness an increase in buses to pre-pandemic levels. However the corporation is looking to slowly increase the number of schedules and buses, and this includes AC buses,” A BMTC official said

BMTC Chief Traffic Manager S Rajesh said there will be no addition to the existing BMTC schedules on day one of 100 percent reopening for Class 6-12 (October 1). He agreed that students don't add up to a lot of demand for the service.

The demand is gauged by the corporation's officials on the ground who are expected to provide weekly and monthly reports on commuter increase. This, in addition to the number of bus passes issued for a region and tickets issued become proxies for the demand for buses, said an official -- of the three, tickets are considered a more accurate estimate of demand.

Students have been allowed to use their previous year’s bus passes to travel, which does not show up on the data as an increase or decrease in demand in tickets and passes as most students have been using the old passes. These passes have been allowed to be used until the end of October 2021.

On the ground, drivers and conductors have already started experiencing larger student crowds from August when schools reopened in the offline mode, although with 50 per cent capacity. "Such a crowd surges in, and yet no one buys a ticket," a BMTC conductor lamented about the rush of students in buses.

BMTC conductors admitted to a rush between 8 am to 10 am and about 4 pm, with many students taking the transport. There is a lot of traffic congestion too these days, owing to which a crowd that can fill three buses ends up taking the first bus that arrives, one said.


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