Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Volvos fare better than autos

Volvos fare better than autos
Difference between Volvo and auto fares over various distances could induce commuters to take the bus
Suchith.Kidiyoor @timesgroup.com


With the revision in autorickshaw fares, travelling in BMTC’s posh Volvo buses could become an attractive alternative for price-conscious commuters. The new auto tariff is Rs 17 for the first two km and Rs 9 for every subsequent km, while the Volvo fare is Rs 10 per four km and Rs 5 for every two km thereafter.
In fact, BMTC officials are looking forward to an increase in Volvo occupancy following the auto tariff hike. An official of the bus company said, “Everyday, more than 60,000 passengers travel in our Volvos. We are hoping people who use autos will switch over to our buses. The corporation currently operates Volvo buses on 50 city routes.”
BMTC currently operates 435 Volvo and 98 Tata Marcopolo air-conditioned buses. The corporation is set to add 39 Volvos to its existing fleet. It also plans to extend Volvo routes to major residential and industrial areas. The official said, “We plan to operate Volvos to big residential hubs like National Games Village in Koramangala, and are carrying out a feasibility test. Currently, we are operating a Volvo service on a trial basis to Bagmane Tech Park.”
However, autowallas see the situation differently. M Manjunath, president of Adarsh Auto and Taxi Drivers’ Union, said, “Volvo bus fares may be cheaper but autos drop passengers to their doorstep, which buses cannot do. Whenever the auto fare is hiked, people react strongly during the first few days. It was a reasonable demand by auto drivers as the cost of living has shot up in Bangalore. Passengers are unhappy with the tampering of meters and the rude behaviour of drivers. If these are corrected, most passengers will not hesitate to pay the revised fare.

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