Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hop onto Merc bus and pay just Re1 for a ride

Hop onto Merc bus and pay just Re1 for a ride

Shwetha S

Bus Day has been successful for the BMTC thanks to its effective campaigns. It has more plans to draw commuters. Its managing director Syed Zameer Pasha says in an interview to Shwetha S that by Saturday, BMTC will run two Mercedes Benz buses for commuters at Re1 for a few days.
When will the commuters get the much anticipated Re1 ride in Mercedes Benz luxury buses?
We are already working on the project and by Saturday (August 28), we will be running two Mercedes Benz buses in the city. We are planning to run these buses for a few days by charging just Re1 to draw the attention of commuters.
What are the other facilities available? Are there plans to introduce wifi in Volvo buses?
Mercedes Benz is itself a brand. So the quality of facilities provided by the bus will be much better compared with other buses, including Volvos. Yes, we have plans to introduce wifi in Volvos especially in buses plying towards IT corridors and BIAL. We have to call for a tender. In two or three weeks, we will be able to introduce wifi in Volvos.
What will be the fare once Mercedes Benz bus starts running regular services across the city?
We have not thought about it till now. Viewing the response of the passengers, we will gradually increase the number of buses and fix the fares accordingly. But, one thing is sure. The fares will be comparatively higher than those charged by Volvo buses.
Do you think the Bus Day has forced at least a few commuters to leave their cars at home and use public transport? When can we expect more commuters shifting to public transport?
Bus Day has been successful for the BMTC thanks to its effective campaigns. They helped in spreading awareness among about the significance of using public transport. The response from the IT corridors has been encouraging. After every Bus Day, we have gained a 10% increase in ridership in these sectors. Such drives should be promoted. If the government can sustain the tempo by launching more and more people-centric campaigns, I am sure a large number of commuters will take to public transport.
Apart from these initiatives, what are the other plans by the BMTC to educate drivers on etiquette, safe driving and making the journey smooth for passengers?
On a regular basis, the BMTC is conducting workshops to all its bus drivers. Batchwise, it is organising safety driving programmes. We also hold meditation sessions and such other activities to de-stress the drivers viewing the nature of their job. We identify drivers who are addicted to alcohol and smoking and send them to de-addiction centres. This will help them to keep away from such dangerous habits

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