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Why I gave up on BMTC

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Public Transport

[Kind of mirrors what so many members here think of BMTC - routing not right, slow, last mile hassle etc etc - here is a real user experience {blr_editor}]

Last week i resolved to try BMTC to commute to office - from BTM to CBD - Ulsoor Road ( or Halsooru Road). I had written earlier to Mr. Sheriff and Tripathy earlier on the pathetic treatment meted out to BTM residents - to no avail. There is not a single bus that runs from BTM to MG Road directly - convenient to travellers.

First - we have 201 and its variants - which are crowded by the time they reach BTM. Requests for a BTM - Domlur variant have been denied till date. Requests for a 'seating only' premium variant have been declined.

Next option is BTM - Shivajinagar - 161D (i think) - that bus route is a joke - From BTM, the bus enters koramangala near Madivala (Kendriya Sadan) and enters Hosur Road again (near Forum) -- normally 30 minutes to do this jig....and then enters Shantinagar near (erstwhile Elgin Mills) and joins Richmond Road. This is pathetic as that road is one-way except for BMTC buses (hence the road is jammed on the right by the oncoming traffic - who are perplexed by the buses on the 'one way' and it takes atleast 20 minutes to reach richmond road. By the time, the bus reached MG Road - it was 10.15 am (for a bus that started at BTM at 8.30 am).

Now i had to take an auto to reach office (the 14th auto took mercy on me - as this was minimum meter @ Rs.15/- + 5/- for the 'mercy').

I have written to BMTC requesting for premium service - during rush hours - charging a premium - double (or more) the fare - seating only AND have point to point -- BTM to Shivajinagar with a stop on Residency Road & MG Road ONLY - in the shortest route possible - BTM to Hosur Road - onto Museum Road - to St Marks Road - to shivajinagar -- Something they can cover in 45 minutes during the rush hour.

Why cant they do this? If its a volvo - i am pretty sure that would atleast be full during rush hours. Another point is that BMTC has ignored BTM for volvo services completely ( Are only JP nagar residents preferred for volvo travel ?? - there is no airport bus from BTM). In fact one route that i had suggested has been ignored - Silkboard to Majestic via BTM / Jayanagar 5th Block - and then straight on 'Nanda' road. The volvo's are never seen during rush hours in the evening - they are taken off at 7 pm....while they ply empty between 11.00 am - 4.00 pm.

I think BMTC has lost the plot. Enough of my rantings. Oh ! and i have shifted back to using my car ....after a week.

Comments

murali772's picture

so have I

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60 users have liked.
Namma_nadu avare' - so have I, and many others like you and me.

Bangalore_guy has elsewhere mentioned about how useful the "Yelli Iddira?" service was. In fact, I was fully involved in implementing it, and it ran well for over 6 months. During the period, I (and my family members and many friends too) used to travel extensively on the VOLVO buses, and it used to be a pleasure. At its peak, it used to record close to 1000 SMSs daily. Sadly, the BMTC authorities didn't see enough value in it to want to overcome some minor technical and revenue issues, and unceremoniously dumped it after extracting the initial publicity mileage. Many regular users, specifically lady executives, complained bitterly through the 'feedback' provisions on the web-site. I compiled them all and sent them to Mr Tripathy himself, even after which there has been no positive outcome, except for some lip service.

I now see the answer only as at
http://praja.in/bangalore...

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanth's picture

We want to bridge the gap

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There is a gap between what people want and what BMTC is delivering. We at the praja Working Group just want to bridge the gap and propose new routes to BMTC. We want what made you to give up the BMTC so that we can check up with Mr. Tripathy's team if they can provide the same.

Let us also do brainstorming on new routes which is needed and the TTMC concept. Let us keep our Working Group ball rolling. We just can't keep quiet and be an armchair critic.

murali772's picture

course correction

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Vasanth

Leave alone route rationalisation, and what not and what not. Like I have stated elsewhere, I'll be happy if anyone can even get BMTC to display the route numbers properly on say 90% of its buses. It's based on all my experiences working with BMTC in my capacity as the co-Chairman of its CCTF, and later in implementing "Yelli Iddira?", that I am talking. It's no arm-chair talk, please!

So, what I am suggesting is that the working group should now direct its efforts at engaging the minister concerned into effecting policy changes to bring in effective competition, which is the only way BMTC will become more accountable.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

prospective candidate

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Text of the posting by a member on a Yahoo-group (Enough and more reasons to join the list of those giving up on BMTC, though I don't know if he actually has):

There are basic deficiencies with the bus service, which if not corrected, will make this an impossible task. Wife and I just made a weekend trip out to Calcutta, and here are the negatives we observed. These might be small issues for die hard public transportation addicts, but to get people out of cars and into buses, these will need to be addressed.

1. On the way to the airport, we waited for 45 min in front of the Grand Ashoka hotel before we got a bus. Apparently there is supposed to be one every 25 min on Route 9. This was surprising since G.Ashoka is the first stop after the departing point, Majestic. It's hard to believe there was a 20 min traffic hold up between those two points at 2 pm in the afternoon.

2. I had called the BMTC control room to confirm that the bus stops in front of the Grand Ashoka hotel. The operator gave me information that was consistent with the route map downloaded from the airport website. However, at the physical location, we found *no* indication that the bus would actually stop there. The security guards of the hotel gave comfort and pointed out the exact spot where the bus typically stops. In the end, the bus almost breezed past us. After some frantic arm waving, it overshot us by some 100 ft.

3. The driver on the return trip was a very bad driver. He honked incessantly, and kept weaving form one side of the highway to the other. On the bus NH7 stretch, he narrowly missed scraping other buses, nearly hit an auto, pedestrians, and a motor cycle.

4. The return trip bus (Airport -> Majestic) left at a time that seemed to have no connection with the published schedule. It left 15 min late, or 10 min early, depending on which way you look at it.

5. Neither bus we took had luggage racks. Luggage was basically lying around on the floor waltzing to the tune of the steering wheel. Fortunately the bus was not crowded, so there was plenty of floor space, but one wonders, if the bus was full, where would all the luggage go? That said, we did see a few other buses equipped with luggage racks.

6. Terrible choice of music. This was the most significant issue of all. Britney Spears and Bryan Adams at 8:30 am.... sigh.

Muralidhar Rao
Muralidhar Rao
narayan82's picture

Vaayu Vajras

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55 users have liked.
Was trying to find a trip to suit a friend whos flight departs at 0550 hrs. The only available bus was at 0145 hours, as the next bus is only at 0440 (making it risky). I know quite a few flights leave before 6 and these seems to be no bus to suit it. So i book Airlft. Lets see if that turns up!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
soorya_kedlaya's picture

bmtc buses

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40 users have liked.
Arekere mico layout has well maintained bus stop compared to most of the bangalore layouts. I request bmtc to start buses from here to mysore road bus stop, yeshwanthpur bus stop, electronic city, sarjapur road and frequent trip to shantinagar bus stop
kedlaya
silkboard's picture

Bumping up ...

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... this old post on real BMTC user experience. namma_nadu, did you try switching to BMTC again, or still with your car for daily commute?

namma_nadu's picture

Getting better ...but not yet there

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I am still juggling to get it right. While Big 10 has been a good idea - the last mile (and the first mile) connectivity is still a pain. I need to get to Bannerghata road or hosur road to hitch a ride to St Patricks square and then take another bus or auto to reach office. So not easy or comfortable. I think terminating the bus at St Patricks is not serving our purpose and when i quizzed a few commuters they felt that extending it to Mayo Hall would help more people...including me as commuters to MG road and ulsoor road would benefit. I dont find HoHo useful as i am not sure of the timings and the stops. So, in summary, the bus is still not my preferrred option as i dont have the right connectivity and it takes a larger effort to adjust to the bus. My 2 cents. What i wish BMTC would do to help people like me is to start buses on L shaped routes as well ( BTM to Majestic vide ring road - turn at rajalakshmi hospital to hit nanda road ) & similarly BTM to MG Road ( BTM to silkboard and then right at St Josephs college till Mayo Hall or Taj Residency).

murali772's picture

Namma-nadu avare' The short

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Namma-nadu avare'

The short arm of the 'L' in 26 different directions is what has led to 1800 routes, and 201A to Z (and beyond) kind of numbering. That's certainly not the way to go. What's required is first and last mile immediate connectivity through shuttle services. That was indeed the idea behind the Ho-Ho. But, the BMTC coterie appears to have other plans. I certainly don't envy Prof AM's task, and for which he is not getting paid even.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Anyone still holds a brief for BMTC?

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Tasneem, a techie made nine phone calls, including two to the BMTC control room, to file a complaint against the ill-treatment meted out to her by a bus conductor. But the BMTC didn’t punish the conductor nor did it make a sincere attempt to address her grievance.

After disembarking from the bus, a determined Tanzeem called 9480815422, which wasn’t working. She called another number, 22952586. When she did, she was told to call 18004251663. When she called the number, the person at the other end, Praveen, told her “it will be taken care”. When Tanzeem said it was ‘urgent’, he told her to call 2295242. However, there was no answer on this number either. Tanzeem told Bangalore Mirror she had called the number umpteen number of times without any response.
    
The next day, she called 100 (police control room) and told them she wanted to file a complaint against the conductor. She got another number, 22942295, which belonged to an inspector. But a girl who answered the call, asked Tazneem to call 9008885599, which rang on; no one answered. Fed up, she called the police control room again which gave her a new number, 22226323. The man who took the call, Basavaraj, “did not even pay attention to the complaint and asked me to write to the BMTC head office on KH Road”.


When Tanzeem called 18004251663 on Nov 26 to check the status of her complaint, she was told the server was down and it could not be known for the next 4-5 days. “I was shocked. My complaint might not be big, but I have noticed that BMTC has been careless. I don’t travel in the BMTC buses too often but I want to raise my voice for those who travel every day,” she said.

It is learnt many telephone numbers displayed on the buses are non-existent. Officials are not bothered to inform the public the changed numbers. The corporation had announced that the public could file their complaints by calling 18004251663 six months ago, but it set up its call centre only recently. When we contacted Syed Zameer Pasha, BMTC’s managing director, he gave the standard assurance, “I will ensure that all the numbers of officials concerned will be displayed inside the buses for the public convenience. It is our duty to attend to the grievances of passengers.”

For the full report in the Bangalore Mirror, click here

When BMTC is not in a position to put these basic things in place, how long can one expect their fancy new provisions like touch screen net access on the VayuVajra seat-backs, etc, to work? Very plainly, that is not a big concern for them; all that they are interested is in getting these large value orders executed. Need I mention why?

 

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Today's Mirror says BMTC apologized

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The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has suspended its conductor for illtreating a passenger. Bangalore Mirror had published a report titled At mercy of rogue conductor (Dec 2) which mentioned how G Tanzeem, a techie, was subjected to harassment.

The BMTC also said the “inconvenience caused to the commuter due to unhelping attitude of the conductor is deeply regretted”.

Full Report

Vasanth's picture

Commuting in Bangalore - All modes a problem

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Well, commuting Bangalore either by car or by two wheeler or by bus any mode you take, it is a problem !

Cars suffer from frequent dents and many other car drivers irk by staring at you, exchanging words etc., expensive along with causing congestion, higher emission, parking problems etc. 

two wheelers are no more safer due to increased number of rash driving 4 wheelers ,

public transport buses have so many problems as buses not stopping in bus stop, conductor / driver mis behaves, combination of lazy bus drivers and conductors wastes commuter time like anything,

Autos do not come to where we request, demand more, not safer.

How to commute???

I was always thinking affordable sharable standard service taxis like Meru cabs / Easy cabs introducing small car based taxis with shareable option. It will be indirect car pooling, no hassles of driving, point to point service, no need to bother about vehicle or no need to own.

murali772's picture

that's an improvement

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BMTC calling up the aggrieved and apologising is certainly an improvement. But, there are so many systemic improvements required (on many of which Prajagalu can possibly help), and unless they address them, they will have to keep apologising in future also.

A test as to whether they have actually brought about some improvements may be by making a few calls to their call centre say a week from now, and noting the responses.

@ Vasanth - point to point services will call for (60 lakhs city population + 20 lakhs floating population) X 2 trips, assuming they all choose to become mobile. And, that's not the way public services should be operating. They should cater largely to the majority's requirements. Point to point services need to be left to private operators.

The ultimate answer is efficient, direction- oriented services, supplemented by feeder services. And, I'll reiterate that BMTC cannot do it alone.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

'disdain' is the word

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bus routes, timings and frequency would change arbitrarily, some drivers and conductors viewed the vehicle as their personal fiefdom to run as they pleased, that they felt when you were on ‘their territory’ they could be as rude as they wanted to, and the fact that the rudeness went up several notches when they figured you didn’t speak Kannada. I learnt the exact meaning of the word 'disdain’ on these buses.

I don't want to stop using a public service, supposedly run by professionals, because I don't speak the language.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Here's somebody making genuine efforts to switching to use of buses. And, for all the ordeals she has been subjected to, if she is still persisting with travelling by BMTC, it shows a certain amount of will power on her part. The question is how many are blessed with that.

The problem plainly is that it is not run by professionals. And, till such times as it remains a government monopoly, it will not change any.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

long way to go

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Taking a ride on a BMTC bus is fraught with unpleasant experiences for commuters -not because of bad roads or traffic jams, but due to the rude behaviour of the bus crew. Everything from commuters' queries on destinations to tendering change threatens to erupt into nasty confrontations with the crew.

- - - Not that Kannadigas have pleasant experiences in a BMTC bus. Padmaja Narayani, a pregnant woman and resident of Thindlu, said indifference was common to both the crew and passengers. "I once boarded a bus where all seats were occupied. Neither the crew nor the co-passengers heeded to my pleas in Kannada for a seat," said Padmaja.

Padmaja, a Kannadiga, realized that language had nothing to do with this rude behaviour. "I kept standing until another young woman fought with a co-passenger to let me sit; she did not know Kannada and so the conductor shouted back at her. I am a native of this land but this incident made me feel ashamed," she said.


For the full report in the ToI, click here

Very long way to go before BMTC can come anywhere close to matching the demsnds of the city satisfactorily. Well, you can say they are better than BBMP, if it is of any consolation.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

devil may care attitude

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MA Saleem, additional commissioner of police (traffic), said every time a BMTC bus breaks down, especially on two-lane roads, traffic does not move at all. "Even though we ask the drivers to move the bus to a side, they don't. We had to book them as the problem had become severe. Last year, we had booked two cases or so. But this year there will be more," he warned.

For the full report in the ToI, click here.

All these a part of the devil-may-care attitude on the part of the staff, which is only to be expected from a government service provider, particularly so when it's a monopoly. The answer plainly is healthy competition from reputed players, all overseen by a duly empowered regulatory authority - check this.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

yet another prospective candidate

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Post by VK on a yahoo-group:

I am right now travelling from ITPL to HSR layout in the Volvo bus. I have been travelling regularly on thus route since the past 10 months. I use my car from botanicals to HSR (near mantri sarovar), park it there and board the bus.

In the past 10 months, I have seen the Volvo service go from good to bad, and now, from bad to worse. Maintainace has taken a fall. The AC vents are broken in most buses, the air conditioning is not effectively working,they have replaced original vents with cheap replacements which are fixed and director which the person sitting in aisle seat cannot direct storyboards himself.

To add to the works above, now I am travelling in a bus which has been instructed to leave the depot with no cleaning done. There is dust everywhere, dusgusting! AC is not working too. Conductors says they can't do much and need to raise complaint with b'tv office only.

While I have been raising complaints on the bmtc site, I sometimes get a complaint no., but no follow up. However most times the complaint page does not work.

I really wonder if people should shift to 'inconvenient' public transport!!!

Doesn't need more elaboration, I guess.

Muralidhar Rao

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