1, 200 buses to join BMTC fleet, 3,000 more to be added soon

Bengaluru: Anticipating increase in passangers after completion of Metro Phase 2, BMTC has appealed to the government to sanction adequate funds to buy 3,000 buses.

“BMTC will get 1,200 buses by March but we need 3,000 more. I will request Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to allocate funds in the upcoming budget,” Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Monday. He was speaking after honouring 52 BMTC drivers and conductors for their noble deeds ranging from returning articles worth lakhs of rupees to the passengers to saving the lives of persons involved in accidents.

The minister said Namma Metro operations will not affect BMTC operations even after completion of Phase 2. “In fact, the BMTC will have more networks to connect after the completion of Metro Phase 2. At present, the corporation buses carry 52 lakh people per day. In the coming days, we will need more buses to cover all areas in the 25 km limits,” he said. He said the corporation would soon return to the two-tier system from the existing three-tier system and a new division – North East – would be added.

The minister announced that six new bus stations, six new depots and two new workshops would be added to the existing infrastructure. “A new bus station in Hoskote, built at a cost of Rs 20 crore, will start functioning soon. Similarly, new facilities at Kalasipalyam, Kengeri, Uttarahalli, Mangaluru and other places will boost efficiency of both BMTC and KSRTC,” he added. Reddy said 2015-16 has been positive for BMTC which registered profit after successive losses in the last few years.

“However, we are not sure that the trend will continue this year as demonetisation and diesel price hike have hit our revenue,” he said.

Smart card from next week

BMTC managing director EkroopCaur said the corporation will offer smart cards from next month. “The pilot project will start in February on selected routes. We will assess the scheme and remove any possible glitches before offering it in large scale,” she said. To a question, she said BMTC was working on integrating its card with Namma Metro’s smart card. “Our card was in the pipeline for a long time as it had to undergo several tests. We are keen on integration. There are several technicalities involved but it will happen in the coming months,” she added.

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