Bengaluru

After a long gap, the BMTC starts receiving new buses

The increased vehicular population on the roads is having its impact on the efficiency of services offered by the BMTC.

The increased vehicular population on the roads is having its impact on the efficiency of services offered by the BMTC.   | Photo Credit: Bhagya Prakash K

By March, 357 buses will be added to the fleet; electric buses also expected

After a long gap, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has started inducting new buses. It has received 70 diesel buses, and by March this year, a total of 357 buses will be added to the fleet.

“We have started receiving diesel buses. As per the rules, we have to register them by March 2020. We will operate all the 357 buses by March-end. For the 2020-21 financial year, a proposal will be sent to the State government seeking support to induct 1,500 more buses,” said C. Shikha, Managing Director, BMTC.

If all goes as planned, a few electric buses will also be operational by the end of the financial year. Under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME India), the BMTC is leasing 300 E-buses.

The addition to the BMTC’s fleet will come as a relief to commuters who rely on the bus network. In the last one-and-a-half years, the number of buses scrapped exceeded inductions. The corporation decommissioned 450 buses while adding only 292 to its fleet. Since the start of this financial year, only two buses have been added.

Various groups, such Bus Prayanikara Vedike and Citizens for Bengaluru, have been demanding that the State government release funds to boost BMTC’s fleet. The city's vehicle population has increased to over 83 lakh and many rely on private vehicles to commute. With the BMRCL yet to complete Phase II of Namma Metro, and the ambitious suburban rail project remaining only on paper, buses remain the primary means of public transport.

“The city needs a good public transport system. The existing metro network is not sufficient. The BMRCL will take many more years to connect locations like Whitefield, Electronics City and Outer Ring Road where lakhs of people travel on a daily basis. The suburban rail project is awaiting approval. Deploying more buses will help the public and ease traffic congestion on the roads,” said Shivananda a regular passenger of BMTC.

In the last five year, the number of BMTC buses have remained the same whereas private vehicles increased exponentially. At present, the BMTC has a fleet of 6,482 buses. In the last five years, it was able to induct 1,705 buses while scrapping 1,695 old buses.

The increased vehicular population on the roads is also having its impact on efficiency of services offered by the BMTC. In 2014-15, a city bus used to cover a distance of 214 km each day, but now the number has come down to 199 km. On certain routes, the average speed of a BMTC bus is below 15 kmph.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 8:21:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/after-a-long-gap-the-bmtc-starts-receiving-new-buses/article30473048.ece

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