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Buses - largest fleet, still crowded?

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BusPublic Transport

We often read announcements by the BMTC authorities that Bengaluru bus fleet is the largest in India or Asia. Where are the buses?

I find that buses in the evenings are invariably overcrowded. I caught a route#13 this evening at the Indian Express circle. After 2 stops, it was a tight squeeze, and I watched in amazement as the conductor managed to ooze his way through the packed ladies. I couldn't stand the pressure and got down at hte Double road Bus stop hoping to catch either a bus or an auto towards Basavangudi, where I was headed.  The unengaged autos refused to ferry me and there were no buses towards Basavangudi. But another 13 turned up and I boarded it. It was just as full as the other and a few others on the same route.

So, where do these additions to our fleet go?


ss87's picture

 BMTC operates largest fleet

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 BMTC operates largest fleet but where is route rationalization? If 13 served only people of Banashankari crowd is lesser. But 13 is one of the most available buses that connects Shivajinagar to Shantinagar,Jayanagar etc where people change over buses to reach their destinations-reasons-other buses towards south bangalore rarely come over. 

If you closely observe the buses near the gate the "In" and "out" time from depot are given-the bus which leaves late returns early and bus which leaves early returns late? What sort of an operation is this? 


Secondly some areas have more buses than what is required. Eg: 60A one of the most crowded bus-but then why entire route only on 60A-the main crowd is only between Jayanagar and Vijayanagar-hence routes like 60C,60E must also gets it share so that J.P.Nagar and BTM residents too use them-but that is not case-60A always runs empty between 4th and 9th block mainly because 9th block is more of high-end locality where usage of buses is lesser. 


Only certain newly inducted routes of ring road are bit properly planned-th other routes remain a bit too many or too less concepts only. Many routes like 7E,7F,19E,28,30,33 etc etc etc which criss crossed bangalore have dieappeared-they could have been very well run with slight route modifications-7D was a major connector to Nimhans and Adugodi  from Banahsnakari and Jayanagar - but it is a very rare route found. 


Only if routes can be properly organized and run can the problem of plenty but not many be solved



sathyanak's picture

Apart from route

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Apart from route rationalization and other points discussed above, there could be several other reasons. As a regular traveler in BMTC buses for the past 2 decades, I have observed that many buses return to the depots after 5 or 6 PM. On a holiday /Sunday or sometimes nonpeak hours its common to see mostly empty buses racing against each other, or even you can spot many elusive route numbers, but they disappear when they are needed the most and I have observed this consistently across many routes. One may blame the traffic conditions during the peak hours, but common sense tells that cannot be the only reason. I would like to share an instance a few days back as I was waiting for G4 at 6:30 PM in the evening at Brigade road. There must have been at least 300 people waiting for G4 and G2 with not even a single bus in sight. After about 20 minutes, two G2s came one after the other dropped the passengers and the driver switched off the LED boards and announced he is not going to the destination and sped away with just the conductor (he must be returning to the depot). What is the point in boasting about the sheer number of buses when they cannot be operated at the time when they are needed the most?
ss87's picture

Right said-the evening peak

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Right said-the evening peak hours are the most affected when the general shift buses terminate the shifts by around 6:30PM- though the shift timings(in and out of depot) are displayed next to the door there is absolutely no use of the same. When out of 6000 buses 700 buses return by 6:30 then what is the fate of the 700 odd people who have used the bus in the morning? assume a peak hour bus having an average of about 60 people then 700*60=42000 people dont have bus to commute in the evening on average-meaning to say they have to fight for space with the others.


In 1996-97 under BTS even if a bus didnt turn up for 30 minutes the crowd was lesser-one the population was less and secondly they knew frequency was less-now people see bues running but it is pathetic when they dont get it at time they want to. Though traffic is one reason general shift is the main reason to be discusses with BMTC-if these buses can run from 8:30 upto 8 in evening it will be more beneficial

abidpqa's picture

One of the reason there are

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One of the reason there are less buses scheduled in the evening is the daily passes, I guess. In the morning conductors can sell the passes and get commission for that again I am assuming they get commision. In the evening in many routes, majority of the people will have passes, which acts as disincentive.

Every body wants to work from 9 to 5, but there should be a way to persuade the staff to work in peak hours. Praja had included this in suggestions about a year ago. Again I hope BMTC has not reduced the evening buses so that there will be less congestion on roads!! Ok this post has lot of speculations.

shashi kumar y's picture

do you need the reason why the BMTC buses are jam packed???/

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Rightly said by many...... there are many General shift services and also the fact that during morning the BMTC department makes money by selling passes.....

I'd like to inform you all that don't blame traffic for the buses to run back to back.... if there is traffic then how can 2 or more of the same route ply back to back... it's all the crew mistake and the BMTC staff/officials are carelss.

The next is ........... the officials who frames the timings are seneseless..... let me quote you an example.... I'm resident of JP Nagar 5th phase who have fought for the 215M service... when it was introduced,,, two buses had almost same timings in the timings sheet except a mere 5 minutes difference which I raised and pointed out.... th

Blame the BMTC officals who frame teh timing and the crew for there in proper operation.  Also the break time allotted is same for all the buses in bangalore........

The average operation time of buses is from 6:30pm to 8:30pm thought the officals say it is 6am to 10pm.................. look at the INDORE city which is small, even then they operate from 6am to 11pm.  

ss87's picture

 Traffic does play an

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 Traffic does play an important role in back to back bus services-Eg: Service which leaves at 9:30AM gets caught in traffic for about 15 minutes and service which leaves at 9:45AM gets caught in traffic for 5 minutes-result-the bus follow each other in 5 minutes time instead of the 15 minute gap and the next bus having no snarl will again turn up in 5 minutes-so 3 buses gone in 15 minutes instead of two


One more issue here is the at time of changing shifts-Chances are that the 1st bus reaches late due to trafic but belongs to General shift-So driver and conductor might relax a bit more as they have to face traffic ordeal ahead-but if the second bus approaches is a double shift and the 2nd driver and conductor available immediately the 2nd bus starts earler to the first-and if passengers waiting are more the TC records the departure time and sends the bus(I have seen this happening at J.P.Nagar 6th phase terminus)-the 1st bus is late so he too starts off within 5 minutes to avoid the remark of the delay-result-10 minutes gap reduced by 5 but next bus on time will leave a 15 minute gap(Sometimes I remember the regn numbers/marks too on this route enabling me in easy identification of about 8 of the 16 buses on route 2)

abidpqa's picture

I would say BMTC services are

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I would say BMTC services are reliable, means you could get buses from 5 in the morning to 11 at night, at least some drivers bus drivers will run on schedule, on main routes like OMR (you should find a way to reach the main roads). But not punctual, if you expect a bus at 9:20 you need not get it, but  you should get one within 1 hour, And you cannot expect get a seat too.

murali772's picture

futile exercise

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there should be a way to persuade the staff to work in peak hours

through a discourse from Sri Sri Ravishanker, Pejawar Swamiji, MataAmrutanandamayi, or Nityananda?

Also, the discussions on this thread remind of BSNL's monopoly days, when, even after you are finally "sanctioned" a connection, after being in the queue for decades on end, the linesman would tell you that there's a 'cable pair' problem, which woukld promptly get sorted out once you give his 'mamool'. But, the next day it will be the problem of non-availability of poles to string the cables, and so on, and on. After the opening up of the sector to the private players, they are lining up in queue to serve you, and even snatch business from competitors. And, today, nobody talks any more of cable-pairs, or poles, or whatever.

Likewise, all these shift issues, traffic cingestion issues, and all such excuses will vanish once there's effective competition from reputed players. Just join in the demand for that - check this.

Muralidhar Rao
ashwin's picture

2 shifts on every bus

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 I don't know if there are bus crews that work a 9am-5pm or 9-6pm shifts, but if they do, it should be discontinued. A single shift can never service both the peak time slots without being unconscionably long, since customers being served at peak hours (people like us) have themselves spent 9+ hrs at work on average. So you would need the bus crew to work 11 to 13 hrs to serve both peak slots. 

All buses should have 2 shifts for the crew so that they run 18 hrs a day (assuming a 9hr shift inclusive of lunch and other breaks). So the first shift could 6am to 3pm, the second one  3pm to 12 midnight. Times would be staggered so other bus crews could have 5am-2pm & 2pm-11pm or 7am-4pm & 4pm - 1am slots and so on.

That way, we would have coverage across most of the waking hours, and not have a problem with evenings not being adequately served. If morning slots are more lucrative due to pass sales, crews should be rotated on a monthly basis. 

Maybe BMTC already does this - I don't know. Can someone throw light on this!

ss87's picture

 @Ashwin As already discussed

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As already discussed it is the general shift which creates a major issue-at present the general shift operated by BMTC runs from 7:30AM anmd reachs depot at 6:30Pm with an hours lunch break in middle

As far as I have seen BMTC operates the following types of shifts:


General shift: 7:30AM to 6:30PM

Double shifts: 6/6:30 AM- 2-2:30PM and 2-2:30Pm to 10-

Night halt: These buses dont return to depot at nights and stay put at respective bus stands after their last trip-the same crew start the bus early next morning after their sleep in the bus-these buses end up around 10:30-11:00PM and start early as 5AM(You can see the buses idling at majestic bus stand and Jayanagar bus stand in the night-the checks for these buses are done in the afternoon

Night service: these buses (Generally 1 per route) start operations around 9-9:30PM and end at 12AM and again start service by 4-4:15AM and end at 7AM-the general shift buses are generally deployed for the night shift


Well not a major issue-if BMTC can alter the general shift by an hour that is more than sufficent-let buses leave depot at 8:30/9:00 and return at 7:30-8:00-atleast the major peak hour crowd will be served in this manner


As fellow praja abidpqa has pointed out we do have buses running till 10PM atleast at full frequencies-the problem here is the peak hour in the evening where people get deprived of buses. Yesterday evening on route No. 2 there were 3 buses one behind the other-the 1st one overcrowded. the second gents special(Not a different service-there werent any ladies in 2nd one but many in the first) and the 3rd one was just 50% filled-they gap between the 3 was just 5 minutes(Thanks to a small incident between the free service and BIAS service at majestic bus stand which had blocked all the 3 buses from leaving hence they left almost together)


shashi kumar y's picture

about services

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hello Ashwin and ss87,

I'd like to inform you that  the BMTC Operates 4 types of services in a day.

1) General shift.:- the general shift service timings vary depending on the route. There are some GS which start as early as 6:40am and operate till 7:30pm. Basically a GS operates for a period of 11hrs to 13hrs. But all GS winding time will be before 7:45pm.

2) Day-Out(Shift service): these are the double shift services. These buses start operating from 6am to 10pm.  The crew change timings is between 1pm to 2pm. The first shift will be operate any where from 6am to 2pm(max). the 2nd shift operate from 1pm to 10pm(max). But the real fact is that the majority of the buses will end the 2nd shift well b/w 8:45 to 9:15pm even though they need to end at 10pm.

3) Night Halt: These buses halt at major bus stand or at the end stops late night and leave the same place early in moning. But these buses services end at mid noon and also services start at mid noon. These operate for a 14 to 16 hrs with night break.

The loop holes in the above services are:

GS: Major GS buses don't do operate the last to trips.

Day Out(double shift) : the 1st shift crew don;'t operate the last trip (i.e; noon trip around 12pm instead they will do haly way trip and the same is done by the 2nd shift crew at the last trip.

In genral if you look at the statistics of the shift service,,, the crew workings hours including that of the breaks work around 7hrs to 8hrs but in reality they will work only for 6hrs 30mins to 7hrs.


shashi kumar y's picture

working hours needed

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We all know that bangalore is no longer shuts down before 9pm. But our BMTC services halts majority of the service within 9pm there by causing trouble and unsafe to us.

We need the BMTC to operate the services for 8hrs atleast that is

6A.M to 2P.M & 2:15P.M to 10:15p.m.

Look at the indore city, the buses operate till 11P.M.

Is any BMTC official hearing and looking at this issue.?

ss87's picture

True- and general observation

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True- and general observation I have made these days is it is easier to board the bus around 7-8PM but difficult to board them at around 9PM and beyond-2 reasons for same-1. Buses decline. 2. Autos fleece forcing people to wait for scanty buses.


And one more thing I observed was there are regular services towards majestic till 10PM from areas like j.P.Nagar BTM and Jayanagar whereas buses get scanty in the return direction because majority of them have been given the Night halt service at majestic for passengers coming to city early morning like 4:30-5 when buses start the service-and buses on return go to depot directly excepting a few

abidpqa's picture

It is okay somewhat in the

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It is okay somewhat in the main routes like Basavangudi (original post) because there are buses from Sivaji Nagar, Majestic, etc, and you just have to reach a place where all these buses join together in a route. In routes like Byppanahalli, OMR to Sevanagar, there are only 2 bus routes 412 and MBS 8. If these buses do not run on time in peak hours like between 7 and 8, it is like there are no buses on that route. It is not like they get delayed in traffic. There wont be buses for half an hour and 2 buses will come together, that is just complete waste. People would have fed up and used the autos, and one of the buses will be empty because all people would have climbed into the first bus.  It feels like the auto people are sure buses  wont come on time by the number of autos parked there.

abidpqa's picture

To get an idea about number

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To get an idea about number of buses running in peak hour and nonpeak hours, I counted the number of buses in half an hour from Ulsoor to KR Puram RS. This only from 1 day not average. Some buses in 4:45 to 5:15 are Pushpak buses going for ITPL contract trips.

From 4:45 to 5:15 PM -- 15 buses

From 7:30 to 8:00 PM -- 3 buses comment guidelines

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