Bengaluru: Bus, auto, taxi services resume after 50 days

After a gap of over 50 days, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) resumed bus services on Tuesday morning. Buses were operated from major bus stands such as Majestic, Shivajinagar, Shantinagar and other points.

For now, however, the BMTC is allowing only pass holders to board the bus, and no tickets are issued by the conductors. For the most part, citizens appear to remain wary of stepping outside and BMTC reported low ridership levels on Tuesday morning.

“Ridership is likely to increase in coming days,” said a BMTC official.

BMTC’s decision to allow only pass holders in city buses has irked many passengers, especially those who were planning to travel short distances, for which they had to buy daily passes worth ₹70.

Siddaraju, a commuter at K R Puram Market said, “The daily pass costs ₹70 and I need to go to M.G Road for which the usual fare is around ₹20. But now I have to pay ₹70 minimum. I don’t know what kind of a system this is.”

People were also seen questioning drivers and conductors as to why they were not issuing weekly passes in the bus. “If BMTC can issue daily passes, why can’t they give us weekly passes. For that we are made to go to the bus depots,” a passenger said.

Many pointed out that rather than forcing them to stand in line at depots to buy passes, the BMTC should move the system online. Prasanna, a regular bus commuter, said, “If the BMTC wants to go for cashless transactions to maintain social distance, they should also give us the option of buying these passes online.”

Frustration was evident at Majestic bus stand where people had to wait for a long time to board a bus, as only 22-30 passengers are being allowed at a time to maintain social distancing.

Sumangala, a commuter at the bus stand, said that the wait time will only increase once more people start commuting. “Earlier, I would get a bus in a few minutes. But today, I had to wait for 30-45 minutes to board the bus. They started the bus after 22 boarded.”


Autos and taxis resume

Autos and taxis services including those on aggregator platforms like Ola and Uber resumed services on Tuesday morning.

Sreekanth, an auto driver, said, “I have not worked for nearly 60 days, and there were days during the lockdown when I didn’t even have ₹10 in my pocket and had to borrow to meet my daily expenses. I hope things pick up now that restrictions have been eased.”

KSRTC operates 200 buses

The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) resumed services with 200 buses in its division. From Majestic bus stand, 43 buses were operated to various destinations. KSRTC staff was seen noting the names and phone numbers of passengers and screening them for fever before allowing them to board the bus.

From Bengaluru, the KSRTC is operating buses to Mangaluru, Mysuru, Belagavi, Dharwad and other places.

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Sagar Biswas

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