KSRTC, BMTC won’t induct AC buses now | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Hit by a dip in passenger traffic, state-run KSRTC and BMTC have decided not to induct AC buses anytime soon.
Officials said the demand for premium AC buses has reduced due to virus scare and work-from-home scenario. State Transport Undertakings in Karnataka have the largest fleet of AC buses in the country.
While BMTC reduced its AC bus fares, daily and monthly pass rates of Vajra AC services by around 20% on January 1, KSRTC also stopped charging 10% additional fare during weekends. As there has been no major increase in passenger traffic for AC services, the utilities have now decided to focus on non-AC services. Financial crunch of STUs is also another reason.
BMTC officials said they will induct 643 non-AC BS-VI buses shortly. They will also get 90 non-AC electric buses under smart city funds and another 300 non-AC electric buses under the Centre’s FAME-II scheme.
BMTC is now operating 5,272 of it 6,537 buses. “Around 1,700 buses are not operational because of less demand. This includes 700 Volvo buses and 1,000 old buses which need to be scrapped. Of 860 Volvo buses, only 150 are operational. We’re facing a financial crisis so we will not induct any AC buses for a few years ,” said an official.
KSRTC officials said a majority of their premium AC services were running on
weekends and during holiday season. “But the weekend crowd has reduced as many professionals work from home. Our maximum revenue was from AC services during weekends, especially techies who were travelling to their hometowns as well as tourists and pilgrims. Such trips have now reduced due to Covid . People are now travelling only for emergency purposes,” said an official.
In April 2019, KSRTC launched multi-axle Volvo AC sleeper buses under the brand name ‘Ambari Dream Class’. At present, it has 48 Ambari Dream Class buses, each costing Rs 1.24 crore, however, only 34 are now running.
“Of 545 AC buses in KSRTC, only 160 are operationa,” said the official.
Overall, daily ridership in both KSRTC and BMTC has reduced due to Covid impact. The daily ridership of BMTC and KSRTC came down from 36 lakh to 20 lakh and 30 lakh to 18 lakh, respectively.

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Sagar Biswas

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