Thursday, July 28, 2005

One Way Cess: BMTC collects an extra rupee from commuter

One Way Cess: BMTC collects an extra rupee from commuter
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: There is, at least, one beneficiary from the indiscriminate one-ways introduced by the Bangalore City Traffic Police. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is making some extra bucks by collecting, shall we say ‘one-way cess’, from commuters.

Already, the number of users of BMTC buses is fast diminishing if you factor in the population growth. Only those who cannot afford either a car or a bike, or those who advocate public transport, are using BMTC buses.

But even this stagnant section of commuters has come to be penalised by the authorities due to sheer non-application of mind.

In many places in Bangalore, BMTC buses collect two different fares for onward journey and return journey.

This is because of the Stage norm it follows to determine the fare a passenger is required to pay, and before which, the conductor must have completed issuing tickets.

Take for instance, the buses plying from Shivajinagar to different southern parts of Bangalore. They all pay up a rupee more.

For example, a commuter pays a fare of Rs 7 to Shivajinagar from Hanumanthanagar, and ends up paying Rs 8 on his return journey. The BMTC’s logic, in this case, is that the buses take a different route for the return journey and pass via the Parsi Temple (Queens Road).

This point has long been declared a Stage, and therefore, the commuters have no choice but pay up the extra rupee.

A section of users of BMTC services everyday complain that the by making BMTC buses travel the extra distance, authorities have not only wasted as much time of commuters, but have also penalised them for no fault of theirs.

A senior citizen who often commutes to Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology in Jayanagar from Srinagar says the conductor collects Rs 8 for the onward journey and Rs 9 during the return journey.

Since many commuters do not understand the BMTC's jargon of stage, often, conductors collecting the fare become the target of their ire and abuse.

“If the authorities correct this anomaly, it will save the conductors from everyday harassment,” a BMTC employee said.


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