Things to consider before asking BMTC to stop fare hike


Pic: Shree D N

There’s a lot of talk about Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s efficiency, price increase and making data-based decisions. People are asking the BMTC to stop fare hike. Before getting emotional about it all, let us go through the following points.

Do we want to run BMTC as public sector transport organisation generating profit/Return on Investment (ROI) and to grow the network specifically focused on profits?

Do we want to run BMTC as an employment-oriented social responsibility organisation to the public at large irrespective of its income/expenditure status?

Do we want to run BMTC as a social responsibility for every citizen (Indian or foreign) to take him from his own residence to where ever he/she wants to go at the lowest cost and fastest way?

Do we think a third party (not from India and should not have any subsidiary) as an auditor to look into scheduling, fare fixing, fleet maintenance, and administration and submit a report to the media without showing it to the ruling mafia of BMTC and the Government knows about it?

Do we agree to conduct a “life-cycle cost” per passenger/km based on existing input cost, like fuel, spare parts, lubricants, tires, manpower , taking in to consideration –

  1. Economical life of a BUS in years/km
  2. Distance covered per day and number of days the bus was in operation
  3. Specific fuel consumption v/s actual fuel consumption
  4. Tire life in km and sticking to the expiry date
  5. Life of brake components
  6. Accident damage to property, compensation paid
  7. Participation of bus manufacturer’s experts in getting maximum life out of components
  8. Making Bus Suppliers responsible to train the drivers free of cost to BMTC ( if a person found “untrainable” he should be sacked from BMTC.

Can we agree to find a formula to determine the change in fare per passenger/km as directly connected to the cost of fuel? Or other inputs?

Can we get the data of distance run by the bus before its engine, clutch, transmission, brakes, and suspension components (make and modelwise) are repaired or replaced to co-relate to world standards (ok forget it, that is asking for the moon ) Indian standards?

Like we look after our health, do BMTC have an insurance plan for its fleet, if so what are the risks covered and not covered? Do they analyze the “drained engine and gearbox oil” samples to determine the wear and tear standards and find what is wrong?

Can a third party (outside India) conduct a “driving test” and a face to face interview to understand the quality level of its employees ie; Drivers, Conductors, Inspectors, Depot Manager’s and of course the Chairman of BMTC and the Transport Commissioner?

My last question is for the commuters. Do we follow the rules of boarding and exiting of a bus? Do we behave like responsible citizens and carry enough coins or currency to tender the exact fare? Do we follow a queue system while boarding and exiting? Do we buy tickets? Do we jump off at red signals though we know that a vehicle can charge from the left and run you over? Do we leave the seats for women or disabled even if it is not written?

Can anybody please answer these questions/ queries / before we decide the treatment to the ailing patient called BMTC?

Support Citizen Matters - independent, Reader-funded media that covers your city like no other.DONATE
About M Ramachandran 2 Articles
M Ramachandran is a senior citizen based in Bengaluru, who has been a technician with 54 years of experience in the automobile industry.