The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has reported a steady increase in daily ridership figures. In the last week alone, after it extended operations from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., the bus transport corporation recorded over 10 lakh passengers.
Daily ridership increased from 10,000 on the first day on May 19 to 7.2 lakh by June 1. On June 8, the number of commuters using BMTC buses crossed the 10-lakh mark. “On June 11, we had around 10.48 lakh passengers and on June 12, around 10.76 lakh,” a BMTC official said. The numbers, however, are low when compared to pre-lockdown days, when the daily ridership averaged at 35 lakh.
“Even for 10 lakh commuters, we are operating over 4,800 buses every day so that we can ensure social distancing and provide services frequently,” said BMTC managing director C. Shikha. Prior to lockdown, the corporation was operating around 6,000 buses daily.
Routes to Kengeri, K.R. Puram, Hoskote, Attibele, and Tumakuru Road are seeing higher ridership. “We do not know when we will return to complete normalcy. Ridership will gradually increase once more people report to work and schools and colleges re-open,” said another senior official.
BMTC will impose a fine of ₹500 on drivers and conductors who do not wear masks while on duty. A circular issued on Friday warned that strict action will be taken against those who are fined more than once.