Currently 4.9 million out of the city’s 10 million plus people use the BMTC buses every day. However, experts believe that the number could be much more if bus services increased.
The corporation, which had 5,542 buses in 2008-09, now has 6,607 (till August 2013), registering an increase of merely 1,065. While this translates into an additional 230 buses per year, with around 250 unfit buses scrapped every year in the same period, the fleet hasn’t grown big enough to cater to a population that is growing by a few lakh every year. Consequently people have little choice but to use their own two wheelers and cars, say transport experts, regretting that the BMTC has done little to rectify the situation.
Instead it seems to be adding to the problem by continuing to buy the up-market Volvo buses for the city when it needs more ordinary ones to cater to the poor who cannot afford the fares on the former, they add.
“The BMTC will get financial support to buy 810 new buses under JNNURM this year. Of these 250 will be A/C buses, which are already proving a headache owing to their high operational costs. In the process the city will get only 500 semi-low floor non- AC buses under the project,” says an expert.
Many BMTC officials too agree the whole service could do with some revamping to ensure better transportation for all. “Although it was presumed that the Volvo service would become an alternative to four wheelers, it has failed miserably. What we need is more ordinary buses to give a big push to the service,” says a senior officer.
Reproduced from Deccan Chronicle