It seems all the people for whom these buses were bought at great expense
were not enthu...
The same truck chassis is meant to transport all other non-A/C passengers.
In the meantime... SUVs, MUVs and all others private personal vehicles
proliferate .....

*BMTC's Vol(woe)s*

A recent study by traffic expert Prof Sreehari reveals that there are very
few takers for the BMTC's spiffy Vajra Volvo buses


Awhopping Rs 15,000 of the tax-payer's money plus the salary of a
driver-conductor duo is the amount spent by the Bangalore Metropolitan
Transport Corporation (BMTC) every day on a Vajra Volvo bus that plies from
Kamakhya Theatre in Banashankari to Majestic. But the shocker is that not
more than one passenger travels in this Volvo bus at any given point of
This is just the starter. More such startling revelations about BMTC's Volvo
services came to light in a recent survey by traffic expert Prof M N
Sreehari, who is also an advisor to the state government on traffic,
transportation and infrastructure issues. What's more, these findings come
at a time when the BMTC is on a spending spree and looking to augment the
Volvo fleet.
Each Volvo bus can accommodate a total of 45 passengers. The study, however,
points out that the buses are not running to full capacity on several
routes, with the occupancy in some buses pegged at less than 15 passengers
per bus.
Sample these statistics: In Volvo buses that ply between Hope Farm and
Majestic the average number of passengers per bus is 7; Majestic and K R
Puram 6; and 14 for Majestic and Nelamangala. The fallout of low occupancy
is visible: these air-conditioned Volvo buses have been bleeding the state
exchequer of Rs 1.5 crore per month.
The BMTC is more upbeat about routes like Majestic to Bannerghatta National
Park and Majestic to ITPL as the occupancy for the buses in these routes is
up to 46 per cent.
The study also discloses that a majority of the passengers think it would be
wise for the Vajra buses to operate in the city between 8 AM to 12 PM and 4
PM to 8 PM. Sreehari
says, "Passengers who travel in these Volvo buses think it is meaningless
for the buses to operate early morning from 6 to 7 AM. A majority of the
respondents also feel that the Volvos would do well if they plied during the
morning and evening rush hour, when people are going to and returning from
The study also looked into the response received by the Vayu Vajra Volvo
fleet that shuttles between Bangalore International Airport (BIA) and other
parts of the city. The finding: many board the Volvo buses to reach the BIA.
The reasons cited for the poor response are several. As the study reveals,
on an average, only 5 to 8 people in each Vayu Vajra bus to go to the
international airport. Sreehari explains: "A majority of the passengers who
travel to the international airport feel that these buses are unreliable,
their schedules not convincing and have frequent stops till the Hebbal
flyover; all of which irk them. Travellers don't want to take any chances in
getting late for any reason whatsoever. They prefer private cabs over Vayu
Vajra buses." On the other hand, air travellers opt for the buses while
coming from international airport to the city. There is occupancy of 20 to
22 passengers for each bus while it comes from the international airport.
It is also learnt that Bangaloreans prefer taking Volvo buses for longer
distances inside the city. As the study shows, a majority of the passengers
take these buses to go to any place that is 8 kilometres or more.
Among the prominent findings, 36 per cent of the passengers felt that
reliability was more important. So, while passengers are eager to travel in
these cushy buses, they are not aware of their timings. Commenting on how
passengers feel while waiting for the Volvo buses in bus shelters, Sreehari
says: "Passengers are of the opinion that Volvo buses do not stick to the
prescribed time. There are no devices to show their time table."
The BMTC's move to charge concessional rates in order to increase the
occupancy rate has only made the passengers suspicious about the
Corporation's intentions. Respondents in the study felt that if the BMTC
could levy minimal fares on Volvo buses during weekends, why were they not
charging the same during weekdays. BMTC had introduced weekend concessional
rates after the Re 1 promotional campaign in the month of September, but
even that has failed to entice more commuters.
According to a BTMC official, BMTC has plans to operate more buses on the
economic routes and cancel buses where they are running under a loss.

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