Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Metro, traffic ‘jam’ BMTC bus services

Metro, traffic ‘jam’ BMTC bus services
The transport body’s buses, which used to ply 3 lakh km, have fallen short by several thousand kilometres
Suchith.Kidiyoor @timesgroup.com


The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation bus fleet, which traverses some three lakh kilometres every day, has fallen short of its target by 50,000 km, thanks to the Metro Rail works and traffic congestion in the city.
Syed Zameer Pasha, BMTC managing director, told Bangalore Mirror, “It is hardto quantify the loss incurred by the corporation due to the Metro Rail works. The vehicle utilisation has reduced, as it has become difficult for buses to ply on congested roads.”
Traffic is particularly heavy on roads where Metro works are on. “The non-completion of scheduled trips is affecting thousands of passengers. The stress levels of drivers are mounting as they have to spend more time in the traffic,” he said.
The Metro Rail works are progressing on all major roads. The work is in full swing on Reach 1 (Byappanahalli to cricket stadium). But the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has a long way to go before it can complete works on the other routes - Magadi Road to Mysore Road (Reach 2), Swastik to Yeshwanthpur (Reach 3), Yeshwanthpur to Peenya Road (Reach 3A) and KR Market to RV Road (Reach 40.
A BMTC official said, “Every day, we expect a bus to cover around 230 km, but the Metro Rail projects have made the roads narrower, affecting operations. Buses are hardly able to ply in Vijayanagar and Basavanagudi.
6,000 BUSES ON ROAD
In the coming days, the problem is only expected to get worse. At present, the BMTC ferries 40 lakh passengers in the city and operates over 6,000, including 400-plus Volvo buses.
The bad roads compound the problem. Ganesh, driver of route no 61 A (Chandra Layout to Majestic), said, “Before the commencement of Metro Rail works, it used to take 30 minutes to reach Majestic. Now, it takes much longer.”
He said it is difficult to drive in Vijayanagar and Magadi Road, with the latter turning bad after the Metro works were taken up.

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