BMTC bus travel only for pass holders, weekly pass introduced
The eagerly awaited resumption of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus services from Tuesday has come as a relief, but commuters will end up paying more for short distance travel as only pass holders will be allowed to travel and no tickets will be issued by conductors. This will compel passengers, who are travelling short distances, to shell out ₹70 for a daily pass.
Weekly bus passes have been introduced for the first time. C. Shikha, MD, BMTC told The Hindu that weekly passes will cost ₹300. The BMTC is also introducing QR based payments in 75 buses on a pilot basis at daily pass rates.
“For maintaining social distancing and minimal contact between passenger and the bus crew, we will restrict bus travel to those who are holding passes. For the time being, conductors will not issue any tickets. People are advised to buy monthly pass, weekly pass or daily pass,” she said, adding that monthly and daily passes can be purchased at the 50-odd major bus stands in the city, and daily and monthly passes will be available at the old rates.
Wait time will increase
As the State government directed the BMTC to allow only 30 persons per bus to maintain social distancing, the wait time is expected to increase. Standing inside the bus is strictly prohibited. Passengers must follow a queue system at bus stands.
No one without a mask will be allowed inside. Medical tests have been conducted for the crew prior to reporting for duty, she added.
“Wait time to catch a bus will increase. Passengers have to be patient while boarding and de-boarding buses. We are operating buses as per our route plan. If a bus has 30 passengers on board, the crew will not allow another person to board the vehicle at the next stop,” Ms. Shikha said.
As many as 2,000 buses will be operated in high traffic areas. “We will be operating buses with high frequency on these routes. In case there is more demand, additional buses will be operated on these routes,” she said.
She said it would be a challenge to manage the crowd at major bus stands, such as Majestic where the footfall is in lakhs.
Autos and cabs
Autorickshaws and taxis, including maxi cabs, are expected to hit the roads in large numbers. There are 2.18 lakh autos, and 1.87 taxis and maxi cabs registered in the city.
Ola, in a statement, said that it will provide flexible cancellation of rides for drivers and passengers in case one of them is not wearing a mask, and AC will be switched off during the journey. The aggregator has introduced selfie-authentication before starting every ride.