Monday, August 30, 2010

Old Airport Road commuters do not fancy regular Volvo rides

Old Airport Road commuters do not fancy regular Volvo rides

K.C. Deepika
Ordinary citizens cannot afford it, though the IT crowd welcomes it
Of the 430 Volvo buses, 100 operate on the ITPL route

‘Volvo bus services have brought down traffic density'

— FILE Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

COMFORTABLE RIDE:BMTC Volvo services have brought class to the mode of mass transport
BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has been credited with bringing class to the mode of mass transport by introducing air-conditioned and luxurious Volvo bus services. This is especially true on routes leading to Information Technology (IT) hubs of the city such as ITPL.

Recently, the comfort factor was taken one notch higher with the introduction of Mercedes-Benz buses on this route.

While the new introductions have been applauded by the IT crowd, ordinary citizens who cannot afford to spend on air-conditioned rides everyday have had to grin and bear it as the number of Volvos is steadily increasing.

In fact, of the 430 Volvos operating within the city, nearly 100 buses have been allotted to ITPL from Kempegowda Bus Stand, Shivajinagar and Chandra Layout, among other areas.

Wait or pay extra

Commuters with shoe-string conveyance budgets or those with monthly passes for ordinary buses have been left with just two options: wait for an ordinary bus or simply hop onto a Volvo and pay extra.

Regular bus-users in areas along Kadugodi, Marathahalli and Old Airport Road are not amused.

Office-goers are the most disgruntled.

“The basis of the bus routes seems to be the comfort of those working in IT companies. I have a monthly pass which excludes Volvo rides. That costs me some extra time spent in waiting for an ordinary bus,” said Sarita Senapati who goes to work on Millers Road from Domlur. She added that the frequency of buses to Shivajinagar had also come down while those to Majestic had increased considerably.

Even some heading towards ITPL are not enthusiastic about the idea of having to spend so much on public transport. “I started taking buses because it is difficult to ride in the dense traffic. I also assumed that it would save me money that would otherwise be spent on fuel. Every day, I need a minimum of Rs. 100 for a two-way journey. I might as well just use my two-wheeler,” said Rithu H.S, who travels from Old Airport Road to ITPL.

Ordinary buses to stay

On the other hand, a BMTC official explained that there was a need to popularise public transport in such industrial areas to bring down the number of private vehicles. “We introduced Volvos to ITPL and Electronics City on the basis of demand. But there is no way they are going to overtake the number of ordinary buses, let alone replace them,” he said.

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