As cases go up, number of passengers comes down

Road transport corporations reduce services following a drop in patronage

Published - July 09, 2020 09:42 pm IST

BMTC has completely withdrawn AC bus services within city limits.

BMTC has completely withdrawn AC bus services within city limits.

Poor ridership owing to increasing positive cases of COVID-19 has forced the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to further reduce the number of bus services in a span of one week.

After lockdown restrictions were eased, BMTC had gradually taken the number of buses on the road to 4,000 per day. But with a surge in cases, the number has been reduced to under 3,500 buses. People are wary of taking unnecessary risks: the number commuters in city buses has dropped from 11 lakh to 8 lakh per day.

A BMTC official said, “After COVID-19 cases started increasing in Bengaluru, fewer people are stepping out of their homes. For over a week, we have been seeing a drop in the ridership. This has also hit revenue, which is now down to ₹80 lakh.”

The poor ridership has also forced the Corporation to completely withdraw AC bus services within city limits. Only 24 Vayu Vajra AC buses to and from Kempegowda International Airport are currently operating.

A similar trend is playing out in KSRTC, which has reduced bus services across the State from nearly 3,700 per day to 2,500.

“Inter-district services from Bengaluru have been impacted. We have been noticing that the number of people travelling from the city to other districts has dropped even more following an increase in the number cases in the districts,” said an official.

The number of people travelling in KSRTC buses dropped from 2.8 lakh per day to 2 lakh. Revenue has dropped from ₹2.5 crore per day to ₹1.75 crore.

The Corporation had planned to introduce at least 60 AC buses, but is operating only 10 on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru, Bengaluru-Kundapur and some other routes.

“We are running one AC bus on an inter-State route from Bengaluru to Vijayawada,” the official added.

Due to poor footfall, shopkeepers and those running hotels at major bus stands have closed their establishments.

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