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Bengaluru more than halves AC bus fleet, cites fuel costs and work from home in IT sector

Patronage has plummeted for air-conditioned buses though fares were reduced six months ago.

BMTC, indian expressAir-conditioned bus services will be reinstated to full capacity once the demand picks up, the BMTC has assured. (File Photo)

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has slashed its air-conditioned fleet from 834 to 373 buses owing to lack of demand, especially in the information technology belts of the Karnataka capital.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, a BMTC official attributed the low demand for buses to the fact that many IT professionals still work from home. Another official said the rising fuel costs and operational charges had also contributed to the sizing down of the air-conditioned fleet in the city.

“We have reduced the air-conditioned buses by more than half because we are not witnessing any demand from passengers, especially in the IT belts like Electronic City, Marathahalli and ITPL, among others. Ninety per cent of these buses are used by IT professionals. We saw a dip of more than 50 per cent in ridership this year despite offices reopening. Most of these IT professionals now choose to work from home and therefore there is no demand,” said the official.

Though the air-conditioned buses had their fares reduced six months ago, fewer passengers are travelling in them. It is not just the air-conditioned buses, however, that have lost patronage over the years. According to a 2019-20 report of the BMTC, the corporation had a total of 6,677 buses in 2017-18, 6,521 in 2018-19 and 6,159 in 2019-20.

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Air-conditioned bus services will be reinstated to full capacity once the demand picks up, the BMTC has assured.

First published on: 11-08-2022 at 08:52:59 pm
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