BMTC's move to club day pass with ID card resented
Resale of day passes may be the bane of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), but in its attempt to curb the menace, the corporation is planning to make the commuter's life that much harder.
While the day pass is available at the original price of Rs. 35, the corporation has already started a campaign asking commuters to buy “BMTC Loyalty Cards” priced at Rs. 25, valid for a year.
Once the commuter buys the loyalty card, he has to enter the ID card number on the pass to make it non-transferable.
Every time a commuter with day pass boards a BMTC bus, he or she has to flash the pass as well as the ID to the conductor. If there is no ID card, the commuter has to cough up Rs. 5 more for the pass.
However, BMTC's proposed move is resented by many, particularly those belonging to the working class. Sunil Kumar, a native of Bihar, who is a construction labourer in Bangalore, said; “I use the day pass since buying tickets is an exorbitant affair. I am not in a position to waste a day to purchase the ID card (which also requires arranging photographs and standing in a queue), nor am I able to pay Rs. 5 extra without the ID card.”
Another class of commuters that uses the day pass is the occasional visitor to the city. Ravishankar S. from Kolar said that he visits Bangalore five times a month for business and uses the day pass. However, buying an ID card exclusively to purchase day pass is not convenient for him.
The BMTC authorities claim that nearly 20 per cent of the two lakh day passes issued every day are re-sold, mainly in Doddaballapur, Devanahalli, Hoskote, Nelamangala and Anekal. Despite deploying 100 retired police personnel to check the resale and catching several miscreants, resale continues, affecting revenue, a senior official said.
The new rule will act as a double-edged sword, making resale of authorised passes impossible while minimising loss when a Rs. 40 pass is resold, officials reasoned.
The official also pointed out that the ID card will have the benefit of Rs. 1 lakh insurance in the event of card-holder's accidental death involving a BMTC bus.
Day-pass users, however, insist that the insurance benefits for Loyalty Cards should be on the lines of those available to monthly-pass holders. The benefits offered to monthly-card holders include 24-hour insurance coverage of Rs. 2 lakh in the event of accidental death anywhere in India and Rs. 30,000 towards medical expenses in the event of injuries.