BMTC Bangalore runs two types of ordinary services – the black board routes covering upto 15 kms (numbered 1 to 209) from city centre and the red board routes covering areas longer than 15 kms from city centre (numbered above 210).
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The bus passes cost more for red board buses than those for the black board buses. But in reality – the red board buses are at times cheaper and faster than their black board counterparts. Despite the longer distance, they have lesser stages. However boarding a red board bus might mean walking a few more yards to the appropriate bus stop.
For example, the JP Nagar 6th phase to South End Circle, route No 2 charges Rs 10 for going via Jayanagar for the distance. A red board bus from Kanakapura road charges Rs 6 going via Banashankari and Yediyur. The distance between the 6th phase last stop and Kanakapura road is about 1/2 a kilometre.
The time taken by the red board buses is about 5 minutes lesser and frequency of buses is higher; all buses numbered between 211 and 217 go to K R Market can be used, so lesser waiting tim.
Another example: from Corporation to Mico Checkpost – route no 25E and its variants (364 series) charge Rs 12 for the stretch travelling via Lalbagh and Jayanagar. But route no 365 or 369 for the same strech charges Rs 10 travelling via Shantinagar and Dairy Circle, the charge is less while there are more number of buses on this route.
Despite having a black board pass, a commuter cannot use the red board bus for travelling as the corresponding pass charge is lesser – but the ticket charge of red board bus is actually lesser. Thus the black board pass holder is actually deprived of using a service of lesser charge in these circumstances.
To bring it to a common platform, BMTC must start issuing a common pass for both black board and red board buses. With the advent of LED boards, a new bus user will anyway not be able to distinguish between a black and red board bus.
The number of passes categories must come down to just two – the ordinary pass and Vajra bus pass, now that Pushpaks and Suvarnas too use the ordinary fare itself. ⊕