BMTC cuts Volvo deal for IT majors on ORR

From February 7, infotech companies along Outer Ring Road are using a city-provided Common Bus System (CBS) to transport their employees to and from work. The system, initiated by Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA) – which comprises 24 companies including Cisco, Intel, AOL etc – is expected to get more IT employees to use buses instead of private vehicles.

BMTC Managing Director Syed Pasha dressed in white shirt towards the back of the bus, and Seetharam Vishwanath, ORRCA General Secretary at the flagging off ceremony of CBS on February 4. Pic courtesy: ORRCA.

ORRCA reached an agreement with the BMTC to dedicate five Volvos (high end AC buses) for ORR companies in two shifts – 8-10 am and 5-7 pm. The fleet was flagged off by BMTC Managing Director Syed Zameer Pasha on Friday after a trial run.

Nagesh Raju, Managing Director (Facilities) at Intel and a Rajaji Nagar resident who uses the facility, says, "There were issues with the shuttle services offered by companies, such as driver not coming on time. Hence I used to go by car to office. But with Volvo, the time of commute is almost similar and it is more comfortable. Drivers are very courteous too."

The five bus routes include Viveknagar-Koramangala, Indira nagar-Kodihalli-HAL, Majestic-Residency Road-Old Airport Road, Hosakerehalli-Banashankari IInd stage and Rajaji nagar-Shanthi Nagar-Koramangala. The 205 employees, who have signed up for using Volvo, have been given monthly bus passes at Rs 2050. Though this is higher than the regular Volvo pass rate of around Rs 1400, users do not mind as a seat would be reserved in the buses allotted for them. The passes can be used in regular BMTC Volvo (Vajra) buses as well, but without the seat reservation.

General public will not be transported in the buses during the shift timings. Employees can board the bus from any prescribed pickup point in the mornings, and in the evenings they will be picked up in front of their respective companies.

Though ORR companies already use chartered buses, CBS is different from them in that its cost is lesser, employees from multiple firms use the buses, all users have assured seats and that the passes can be used for other regular BMTC Volvo buses.

"A regular chartered bus operates at the cost of Rs 25-50 per km, which is quite expensive for companies. CBS works well for the government also, as it gets assured income in advance," says Seetharam Vishwanath, General Secretary of ORRCA. There are plans to include non-Volvo buses in the system as well.

ORRCA had initiated discussions on CBS with BMTC in April 2010. "BMTC’s response was enthusiastic; it took 7-8 months for us to discuss and work out the system. Manyata Tech Park in Hebbal also initiated this – they have 30 dedicated buses now. BMTC has assured that ORRCA Volvos will be WiFi-enabled within the next two weeks," Vishwanath says.

BMTC MD Pasha says that CBS and other bus services will be extended to public if they request it, and that there is no particular preference for IT companies. "BMTC has a team that conducts surveys on ridership, number of buses etc in each area and recommends if additional services are required. If public or RWAs approach us, we will hold surveys and deploy more buses," he says.

Software solutions company RCN Tech will co-ordinate the operations of the buses (such as maintaining records of bus timings, employees who use the service etc) along with ORRCA Transport Managers. "For the first three months we will see how the system functions. Then we might increase the number of buses and to get general public, who travel in the same routes, to use the facility. More people in buses would mean better traffic conditions and lesser pollution. We are also developing a system with which public can track the location of their buses," Vishwanath says.

ORRCA companies also plan to support BMTC in its city-wide initiatives such as building 300 new bus shelters, displaying status boards with details of trips and maintaining a bus stop opposite Eco Space Tech Park.

About Navya P K 241 Articles

Navya P K is a former senior staff journalist at Citizen Matters, and a freelance journalist based in Kerala.

8 Comments

  1. Hello All,

    Are there any plans to have the bus via the Nayandahalli NICE road to Electronic city by any chance, it would be a great service if there is one , as commuting from RR nagar, Vijayanagar direction to electronic city from inside the city is both time consuming and not economical.

    best regards
    Narendra

  2. I travel from near Ambedkar Institute of Technology to ORR between Sarjapur Road and Marathahalli. There is a dedicated bus service from Nagarabhavi to ITPL via ORR. However, this bus is NEVER on time(usually late by 20-30 mins). I had to resort to other buses, and even they are not on time. It is not an issue when you are on a main route where buses ply every few minutes, but for those coming from places where there’s only one bus(yes there is only ONE bus every morning and one every evening) this becomes a huge issue. Plus, even if I get an early start I end up waiting in the bus stop and the bus then comes late and then ends up waiting in peak hour traffic which it could’ve avoided if it had been on time. They could try to provide connecting buses which ply on shorter, more direct routes at peak hours which get people to hubs like BSK, Hebbal etc(without going all around the city). That would be more useful than one bus which runs a long distance but once a day at a timing of the driver’s choice.

  3. Hi Shashi Kumar,

    Similar facilities exists for govt employees who work in vidhansouda,They are regular BMTC buses and this service is in place for more than 10 years as i know,only diff is IT public got volvo buses(are charged more as well).These are people who need this more as many have back problems and Asthma. for public like us well whatever takes us to destination. 🙂

    Mohan

  4. […] Instead of allotting specific no. of buses to some companies, why can’t they monitor the buses on those routes where the demand is more.

    Let the BMTC change it’s name to private organisation from public.

    Finally the BMTC and the media has shown so cheap attitude. They are behind the money rather than service.

    Media is assisting the IT people/ sector and the BMTC. Not only BMTC but for all other dept too.

    Media doesn’t encourage articles for good cause of the society rather they are support for the destruction of society.

  5. Let me inform all. […] Can he show me Volvo’s which halt in day. BMTC is robbing the public money. They are purely revenue basis rather than service sector.

    Why can’t the same companies can buy a bus instead of causing problem to the public.

    * This comment has been edited to suit our comment policy

  6. ORRCA General Secretary Vishwanath says, “These buses are not the ones which generally run on normal routes, they are ones that are either in day halt shifts, or in other locations where BMTC is running it empty for more than 3-4 months. This is better utilization of govt property is what we felt, and it also helps reduce carbon footprint, decrease car users as many MD’s and VPs are using it.

    We appreciate the concerns shown and we can assure you this is not revenue generation and helping only one community; we would love to have this for EVERYONE and RCN has done a survey for everyone on internet too. Since we have some to use the services of these BMTC buses, we have confirmed seating for a particular login and logout. We are doing a trial with small numbers and would love to see every BLR citizen using mass transport system and help Namma Bengaluru reduce pollution, traffic jams etc.”

  7. Number of buses will reduce to normal commuters who are not working to these companies by this move. BMTC will get better and guaranteed income this way. That is what happened to Pushpaks which were routed to Infosys and ITPL.

    I am seeing lots of V500As and V500Ds being taken out and Marcopolos running in the place of Volvos.

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