Response was lukewarm in the morning but picked up by evening
BANGALORE: On day one of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s four-day offer of a Volvo ride for a mere one rupee, thousands of Bangaloreans snapped up the offer, enjoying a comfortable ride in the posh buses.
BMTC announced on Wednesday the one-rupee bonanza, which will come to an end on Sunday. However, the offer is not applicable to “Vayu Vajra”
“Between 18,000 and 20,000 people travelled on the Volvo on Thursday,” said BMTC Chief Technical Manager Dastagir Sharief. Usually, only around 5,000 people use the Volvo daily on an average. Bus fares on the Volvo range from Rs. 10 to Rs. 70.
Although the morning saw the Volvos plying relatively empty — in fact, conductors were seen announcing the deal and inviting the public to board the buses — by 4 p.m. commuters were clued in and turned up in their thousands.
Probably expecting a crush, most of the Volvos had a securityman on board, particularly in the evening. Buses bound for Bannerghatta saw the maximum number of takers and the 38-seater bus, which usually has plenty of room and empty seats, cramming in as many as 150 thrilled passengers, a conductor told The Hindu. “I could not believe and at first I hesitated to get in even after the conductor told me that he would charge only one rupee no matter how far I travel,” said Vikram N., a student of Vivekananda College. Although a few passengers felt kindly towards the Government, many viewed it as a gimmick. “It is a business and political gimmick,” said Manjunath B.R, a doctor residing at N.R. Colony. “Ordinary people don’t travel in the Volvo not because they don’t know or want the comfort which such buses give, but simply because they cannot afford it. If the Volvos are introduced at a price so as to accommodate the common people, it will be welcome,” said Mehtab C. a lecturer at an engineering college.