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Corruption in the BMTC - Tickets

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BusPublic Transport

Tickets not issued in BMTC buses -  The conductor asks commuters to opt for ticketless travel, by paying an amount lesser than the ticket value. Surprisingly, this is a regular practice.

Here are the details. I boarded a BMTC bus(KA-01 F2822, reached sony world at 11:30 pm) at canara bank bus stop at Kormangala. The conductor, a lady (very busy on her mobile) asked me for the ticket. I asked her to issue a ticket to Hero Honda stop and handed her Rs 7, the exact change for the ticket. She returns Rs 1 change stating that I need not take the ticket. When I insist on a ticket, she demands Rs 2 more rather rudely (while still talking on her mobile) and then issues a Rs 8 ticket.

She says the ticket prices have increased and the ticket which was priced at Rs 7 would now cost Rs 8. With the BMTC staff siphoning off the BMTC revenue through their newly introduced ticket less travel option,the travel cost for citizens is bound to increase causing lot of inconvenience to the common man.

Request everyone's support in putting an end to this form of corruption.


ss87's picture

 The first method to reduce

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 The first method to reduce this is to ensure conductor tear the stage given on the sides of the ticket as done by MTC chennai-this way they can reduce the use of re-selling tickets. Sometimes squads pounce on a bus to ensure everyone has taken a ticket and conductors havent looted-and conductors are also fined for non-issue of ticket. Such inspections must be done regularly. ETM's will also help out in reducing re-sale


Once while I travelled in route no.2 from J.P.Nagar 6th phase to Townhall, the person in front of me at the J.P.Nagar bus stand took the ticket and got off to buy some toffee before bus started. When bus neared Jayanagar 5th block squad entered. they asked ticket from everyone-this person lost his ticket in his process of getting toffee. Conductor was also issued a notice despite we telling that passenger had taken ticket and conductor had issued ticket-conductor was quite annoyed with the passenger that day. so if squads board regularly conductor will be on guard. 

Srivatsava's picture

Its in your/our hands!!

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Welcome to Praja!!

The one thing we can do is to 'demand' a ticket!! Exactly, what you did in that situation.

Its sad, but indeed true, that such incidents do happen in buses regularly. Beyond proactive commuters, there are a few things that can be done in a 'institutional' fashion

1. Greater emphasis on 'policing' - Put in more ticket checking inspectors. I have travelled in many buses many a times. I dont remember a single instance of a ticket inspector checking my ticket in the past decade!!

2. Technology aid: We can start 'mandating' usage of smart cards for ticketing. You may ask about how can we enforce/ensure that every commuter will tap his/her smart card upon entering the bus. One way is inspectors; We can also

a. install cameras to check if people are tapping their cards.

b. allow people to board only from the front door, and alight at the rear door. Trust me, there are many countries where this is followed!!

-Srivatsava V

murali772's picture

inspectors - some Harischandra's?

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Put in more ticket checking inspectors.

But, they all come from the same stock. So, how do you expect them to be any Harischandra's?

Forget it folks, there's no alternative other than this, or variations thereof. The sooner it's realised, the better.

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

till that happens, rfid smart cards?

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Leaving aside Murali's dreams, smart card has been discussed as a possible solution, but for some reasons, even after at least two announcements in last few years about trying smart cards, BMTC isn't considering moving up from paper tickets.

Since commuters are willing to participate in this (don't just blame BMTC and conductors, takes two hands to clap), no in-bus ticketing system can guarantee 0% pilferage. Proximity based two-swipes (record first read as in, second as out, or have separate in and out doors) system could reduce the role of TT, and thus corruption as well as per-bus operating costs for BMTC.

If BMTC is willing, many enthusiasts (and experts in various fields) here will be more than willing to assist in facilitating a trial for such systems.

kbsyed61's picture

Smart Card - Bit too much for BMTC?

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Based on our engagement with BMTC in last one year or so, asking for SMART CARD use in buses would be like asking for the moon.

SMART CARD use suggestion is a bit a over simplification. I am sure most of here would agree with me that for the success of SMART CARDs patronage, it requires a stomach for investment in infrastructure, and operations. More ever it requires a leadership at BMTC/KSRTC that has management capital to make use of technologies for superior efficiency and profitability.

I am not suggesting that SMART CARD should not be used. I am all for it. But looking at BMTC's approach I am not sure whether they would go for it in near future. Just look at their approach towards digitizing their route information. Look at their responses to route rationalization.

Even they do not have any interest to look out for the ways they can make the BMTC experience more better for their commuters. Classic example is their website.

But still BMTC can move in stages towards SMART CARD technology. In the interim,  they can get their monthly and weekly pass more popular and affordable. Encouraging big retail stores, outlets, post offices to sell these cards to public. Reaching out to corporate/companies with discounts and incentive would certainly reap rich harvest of regular income to BMTC.


murali772's picture

naivety - pardon my saying so

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If BMTC is willing

Why would anybody in BMTC be willing, when such steps will cut off their sources for underhand earnings? They didn't care a damn for "Yelli Iddira?", even after its successful trial deployment.

many enthusiasts (and experts in various fields) here will be more than willing to assist in facilitating a trial for such systems.

You will be making the same mistake that the Yi team did if you go about it in this fashion. Instead, engage a professional agent, package the whole deal into a multi-crore project, with cuts for everyone up and down the line, and may be it will happen. And the bonus is, it need not work.

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

While something has to change

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Murali - you are not pardoned, and wont be till you start a serious lobbying effort (a project) to push for reforms in local PT sector. Your point is definitely taken, at this, and many many other discussions so far :) Now, to move on ... 

While something has to change at BMTC so modernize it (upgrading to better buses is not it), there is no harm in pestering BMTC as it exists today for a formal response on:

  • Does it recognize in-bus corruption to be a source of pilferage - what are its own estimates?
  • What does it do today to check such corruption? How are the results measured?
  • Why is it running late on its technology upgrade projects? Where are messaging boards at bus stations? Where are smart cards? Where is web-based system for buying monthly passes (learn from its peer - KSRTC)?

Need to ask and get responses from them. If nothing else, it will help prove that BMTC is not pro-active enough to run public transport for Bangalore.

Now, who wants to draft an questionnaire, or an RTI, and give it to me so that I can either post it, or just go to their office to hand over to them in person?

kbsyed61's picture

SB, I will make an attempt for drafting 4-5 applications!

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I can certainly help with drafting 4-5 applications, IA. I will draft one application for each of the issues and all its related question. Here is the list.

  1. Pilfrage in Ticketing area
  2. Technology Upgrades
  3. Route Rationalization
  4. Action Taken against vandalization of 82 Buses during the recent Bharat Bundh?
  5. List of Improvements done in response to Bus Day Feedback?


Every Body,

Pls feel to add more categories to the list and a list of questions. I can then draft the RTI applications. SB has promised to file them with BMTC and followup.



silkboard's picture

technology and ticket related

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Always helps to focus. Let us collecta all our questions on use of info tech, and corruption in one batch (item #s 1 and 2 above), we will go over and ask all in person first. Don't think RTI will be required, so far, whatever we have asked (info), we have been getting easily.

murali772's picture

OK- that can be another route

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Fair enough - perhaps that can be another approach to the ultimate objective. I'll join in the exercise too, with RTI queries to both BBMP and BMTC on JnNURM funds usage

Muralidhar Rao
suryakamal's picture

Corruption in BMTC

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May be jumping to proposing some solution - was thinking, will some kind of on board cameras will help the cause?

Probably, that will be a good deterrant to security threats too!

All that is required is some camera (not expensive) and some kind of storage device to store video in compressed form to hold data for 5 / 6 hrs??


silkboard's picture

too expensive Surya

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Surya, camera and storage device per bus, and the cost of keeping them working and running, and then the cost of someone watching the camera footage - very costly solution, and does not give you any other returns. How much you want to invest in checking this corruption depends on how much revenue BMTC is losing due to all this. I had done an estimate sometime ago (here it is:, not sure how good or bad the estimate is.

With Smart Card, you improve ticketing process as well.

If there is a low cost way of counting people getting in and out (those metal detector gates at the airport count is and outs also) of each bus, then a random audit where you tally tickets sold with outs and ins could be a deterrant. But here again, since the device will live in the bus, it can easily be "damaged".

silkboard's picture

Smart card - costs and payback?

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See, if our last year's estimate (11 crore, revenue leak per month due to ticket/pass corruption) was even close, let us see if the leakage volume justifies investments in smart card solution.

  • Assuming 5000 buses, RFID reader cost of Rs 20000 each, 2 readers in each bus = Rs 20 crores
  • Assuming 20 lakh BMTC riders in city overall, and each RFID smart card to cost Rs 50 each = Rs 10 crores
  • So total one time hardware cost = 20+10 = Rs 30 crores.
  • IT System could cost much more than hardware here, gustimate it to be twice = 30x2 = Rs 60 crores.

Add 10 crore more, the total is appx 90, say 100 Crores. If the solution can bring the leakage down from guestimated 15% to 3%, or from 11 Crore/month to 2 Crore/month, you get 9 crore extra revenue each month. So, the sytem could pay back its investments in about one year (100 / 9 ~ 11 months).

Oh yes, lots of assumption in the stats above, and its simplistic, but just wanted to put numbers in perspective here.

Srivatsava's picture

Smart Card - Paybacks..

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My gut feel tells me that the 15% pilferage is grossly exaggerated. But then, the paybacks on smart card implementation will be much much more than in the  context of checking pilferage/corruption.

The greatest advantage that it should bring the immense data about the travel pattern of Bangaloreans. Imagine the kind of information that the IT capital of the east has - A 30 year old mechanism. The conductor has to mark how many tickets of each denomination were sold in that trip between two 'stages'. We can even make out how many people are travelling from one 'stage' (say A) to another 'stage' (say B), since the definition of stage differs in the every route that plies between A and B. Each route could take many different 'paths' to reach the destination stage. You just cant make out how many people are travelling from Jayanagar area to Whitefield areas.

Imagine if we had a smart card based ticketing system, it would have tracked each passenger trip not by stage, but by each stop. Not only that, it could have told what are the preferred changeover points for users. (For example: I take a bus from H'ngr side to Dairy Circle with a changeover at Lalbagh Main gate, though Shantinagar may be the 'recommended' changeover stop). It tells how many people, where are they going, at what times of the day, and with a bit of user info, even gender, age, income and other demographics.

I stay in Girinagar and when BMTC recently introduded a EC-Srinagar route (373H??), my friends here were complaining/suggestng that the bus be extended from Srinagar to Girinagar (an additional 1.5kms). They argued that there are "lots of people" in Girinagar who work in EC companies. Now, if we had data about how many people travel from EC to Girinagar, we(rather the BMTC) could have made a proper judgement - not having to pit one person's judgement against anothers!!

This doesnt go along the corruption 'theme'... But then, if we have to make a fair assesment of the advantages of smart card, we need to look beynd corruption.

-Srivatsava V

idontspam's picture

 The greatest advantage that

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 The greatest advantage that it should bring the immense data about the travel pattern of Bangaloreans

Now the privacy police will be after you. How dare you know where they come and go?

silkboard's picture

Pilferage percentage, reduced numbers

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Leave aside privacy concerns for now, Srivatsava - the 15% number is less important than the absolute number of this revenue leakage.

2009-10 Nmbers for BMTC

  • Revenue 1,131.71 crore
  • Profits Rs 65.13 Crore, or 5.76% of revenue (net margin)
  • Now, half our guesstimate of 15% pilferage to say 8%.
  • Even then, In theory, BMTC could be losing more money to pilferage than the net profits it is earning from operations (5.75% vs 8%).

Revenue Goal for 2010-2011 is 1250 crore (reference: Ashoka quote in 1250/12 = 104 crore a month. At 8%, you are losing about Rs 8.3 Crores a month.

Does Rs 8.3 Crores a month, or 100 Crore an year justify investments into a technology that may not cost a lot more than Rs 100 crore to implement, and has other benefits (streamlined data collection, better customer relationship management, ability to book more revenue in advance, pre-paid style) that stand merit on their own?

Srivatsava's picture

target weekend!!

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We can hope to have some updates over the weekend on this too!!

-Srivatsava V

Rithesh's picture

Policing is just one of the solutions

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Hoping to eliminate/reduce corruption without better wages and HR policies is just not possible. Wage reforms and reduction of corruption go hand in hand. If only policing policies are improved, ppl will only find better ways to cheat the system.

An engineer working with BMTC for last 10-15 years wont be getting more than Rs. 40K per month - drivers and conductors with same experience would probably getting Rs. 15K. A fresher these days gets more than 40K.

What is necessary is HR policy reforms:

  1. Wage reforms (higher wages)
  2. Life long employment guarantee policy should be removed. If employees are caught participating in corrupt activities, there should be provisions for easily dismissing them (not suspending). 

Its not just with BMTC - same policies should be followed at all govt institutions.

Parallely better policing techniques and newer technologies should also be introduced.


murali772's picture


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Exactly! But, government won't do any of that, and that's why the services all have to be privatised. This, or a variation thereof, is what is the desperate need of the day. There's no reason why we can't provide world-class bus services, and at the cheapest rates.

Like-wise in power supply, and water supply, the other key infrastructure areas.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

helping the environmental cause - the BMTC conductor way

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Conductors of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses are opting for the paperless route but for the wrong reason. Many of them do not provide tickets to commuters for the fare collected but collect a lower fare than stipulated. The money then goes straight into their pockets.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here

May be the BMTC will soon find somebody to award them for this. There are enough 'Kashmere/ Delhi gate NGOs' who can be tapped.

Muralidhar Rao
goli's picture

I dont know why do we cite

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I dont know why do we cite the governmetn and BMTC always for corrouption. I think equally responsible are the people who travel like this.

I am not supportin this kind of corrouption, but I do sympatize with traffic police, conductors, drivers, because in Bangalore traffic it is very stressful job. On another note, most people in iT companies give forged bills to save tax, that is corrouption of equal amount as much this conduction might be making in the entire year. But we never talk about that. Why not have inspectors for that.

idontspam's picture

Stress & corruption

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 but I do sympatize with traffic police, conductors, drivers, because in Bangalore traffic it is very stressful job

Right and stress gives you the right to cheat and swindle on the side. And since you dont support this you choose to instead sympathise and justify it. Quite convoluted I must say.

The conductor is at the lowest end of the corruption chain and the clean up starting here all the way to the top will take atleast a generation. I am not sure sympathy, justification etc is the right direction.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

I agree with goli.

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I too feel sometimes sad when a conductor is engaged by public for taking small bribes, though its not good( I agree ಆನೆ ಕದ್ದರೂ ಕಳ್ಳ, ಅಡಿಕೆ ಕದ್ದರೂ ಕಳ್ಳ concept which mean whatever the amount of theft the person is called thief). I compare a conductor with BBMP engineer who mints in thousands just for plan approval just even to approve a all-right plans or a sub registrar who gets % of registration value/deal value from you through agents to perform his duties.

Having said that, corruption should handled in all sectors, including private sector. I have seen lots of cases in private sector, private schools, NGOs. Much hype not given to them. Only the customer facing public service staff are targeted.

1) I have heard my previous company vice president was kicked out because he was corrupt in procuring tube lights to company.

2) When I asked a charity school(who collect "donation" to their mission not the the capitation) if they maintain any accounts for the school. Staff says all accounts maintained by their "head office". Nothing is published in notice boards. Public are keeping quiet for "holy" sake.

3) As goli said many people in IT or non-IT sector produce fake bills to claim, no one bothers. For income tax department, it seems loss is "negligible" as they have bigger catches. 

4) Ask any vegetable vendors (both street and shop) if they know something about weight calibration and stamping.

5) Ask yourself, when a service provider asks to pay extra for VAT if you insist on receipt, what is your choice. It comes Rs.135 extra(not sure about figure and it varies as per VAT norms) for 1K price tag.

6) I heard NGOs are created to "manage" "surplus" money through "social" service.

So on and so forth. I think RK Lakshman's common man truly represents, being mum and watching.

I hate it to post here, this being a forum for local problems, and fact/figure based discussions. Bu this problem is ultra local too (points to myself/yourself sometimes.)without facts and figures.  No offense meant to anyone though. Am I too much here by pointing you and me?...?





" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
goli's picture

@idiotspam Hey I agree we

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Hey I agree we should not justify it.

All I am saying is that every time we all seemed to be bothered about corroupt traffic police, conductors etc. Why dont we ever bother and ask how many people in Bangalore who are giving houses on rent, pay taxes on the money that they get from rent. Why dont we ever talk ot such kind of corrouption.

I just feel the only difference is that we have kind of accepted it, it is considered smart and intelligent to figure out ways to evate tax, either illegally or legally. Am just trying to point out to this thing.

Am just saying that  lets look at this other things which are much bigger.

idontspam's picture

 Hey I agree we should not

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 Hey I agree we should not justify it.

Really? I find it idiotic that people sympathize & justify it while saying it should not be justified.

Srivatsava's picture

IDS? Are you an 'Idiot'?

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Sorry for butting in with an irrelevent observation!! I have been on Praja for close to two years now. Till a couple of weeks back, I thought your pseodoname was 'idiotspam'... I have read hundreds of comments of yours thinking the same...

A couple of weeks back I noticed someone writing like "you say you dont spam,but..." That was when it dawned upon me that I was reading your name incorrectly for the past two years!!

Now, when I saw someone else reading your name incorrectly, I felt 'relieved' and 'happy'.. I am not the only one with this confusion... I can now safely blame the Praja font for misguiding me!!

Apologies for the 'spam'.. Continue your discussion on the rot!! But yes, I too agree that  'white-collared private sector corruption' has been 'ignored' by us..

-Srivatsava V

idontspam's picture

To err...

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 Till a couple of weeks back, I thought your pseodoname was 'idiotspam'

Attention dear friend, pay attention! I learnt it the hard way, Public Agenda, PDK not one and the same and I cant even blame the font. Apologise if you have made a mistake, its the mark of a man/woman :) Otherwise I can recognize ad hominem when I see one ;)

idontspam's picture

 Am I too much here by

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 Am I too much here by pointing you and me?...?

No start your campaign. Only good will come out of it. But dont think I am going to stop mine.

I must say all of India possibly listens too much to Gordon Gekko. We cant even blame Maslow as this runs across all income classes :)

Vasanth's picture

High ticket costs major reason for BMTC corruption.

206 users have liked.

 One of the foremost reason for this conductor corruption is the high ticket fares of BMTC especially for smaller stages. Its brother KSRTC's city transport like in Mysore is not as expensive as BMTC. 

Three days back, one of my friend dropped me at a distance like less than 600 metres to my home. I thought of walking, got a bus going in the same route. I was surprised to pay rupees 6 for 2 stops. Another thing I have noticed is the rounding off to the stops when seen in printed tickets. If I get to the bus in Jantha Bazaar, I will be given Hoskerehalli cross which is the previous stop and wants to get down in DG Bunk, I will be given Kadrenahalli Park which is 1 stop further.

For  Volvos, they have started rounding to the 5 rupees which has made it very very expensive. Fare from Kattriguppe to Jayadeva was 20 rupees. Now with increase in fuel prices, they made it 25. When asked conductor, they have rounded to nearest 5 rupees. How it can be rounding, it's ceiling to nearest 5 rupees.

For smaller distances, it becomes too expensive travelling in bus. Below Poverty Line people who cannot afford private vehicles, they have to struggle a lot.

Conductors take small amount  usually around 3 rupees for Parisaravahini for smaller stages and allow people to travel.

If the fares are lower, who will pay to the pocket of conductor? Greedy nature of BMTC is the reason for this.





silkboard's picture

@Goli - bang on

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Absolutely, why pick on BMTC conductors, trafic constables etc. Why not those who pay the bribes? In the same way, I HATE it when people call out BMTC bus drivers to say that they drive rash. As if rest of us are all saints on the road.

Suggest how to target the other side (bribe payers) via any ideas for campaigns etc, and you may see the thousands who read posts and comments here (but have so far kept away from jumping in) come out to support and join you.

The thought (coruption has two sides) should be on the back of everyone's mind so that people don't work with

BIAS against BMTC conductors or drivers. As an example, I 

remember a project idea about having numbers on the back of BMTC buses so that anyone can call and complain for cases of rash driving. So much trust to put in the anonymous and random callers, isn't that a case of being BIASED?

However, since we hang around here to talk (and in few cases do) things about local governance related issues, it tends to get focused on bribe takers more than payers. Actually, in most cases, bribe takers are better placed to work the system to encourage corruption, so working on them, or the system (so that it can't be worked) should be more effective than campaigns on the bribe-payer side.

In all fairness, solutions like smart cards are designed to deter both payers and takers.



silkboard's picture

late reply - for Syed

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Syed, you said.

Based on our engagement with BMTC in last one year or so, asking for SMART CARD use in buses would be like asking for the moon.

Disagree. via Two counts

  1. BMTC can execute, just that they have too many people as back seat drivers, and don't get clear directions and srategy (my take). Once you convince (or push via one of the backseat drivers - minister, abide, an interested party etc etc), they can do anything
  2. We should always ask for the Moon. Then only you get at least something.

Hoping that if some smart card experts hang around here, they could come forward to lobby for it keeping long term benefits in mind, though 'coruption' could be the tactical way of pushing for it.

Anithasunil's picture

Today, there was a Vajra

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Today, there was a Vajra going towards ITPL, broken down at Marathahalli, near the spice garden busstop, around 8.30am. I was in another 335E, and when the bus stopped there, some of the commuters from the broken down bus got into the 335E. The driver immediately closed the door, and proceeded, even when the road was blocked by another bus in front..

Guess it is because the collection would be "low" if he lets the passengers form the broken down bus get into his bus. 

One of the classic instances where incentives get a precedence over customer service. What can BMTC do to make sure the commuters get a fair deal incase of a break down like this? Best alternative would be if the broken down bus would refund the ticket fares. (Refund can be the ticket fare from that point to the destination).

But, checking each ticket and doing this takes a lot of time. 

Better would be if we call have smartcards for BMTC, so that once the data for the broken down bus is entered in a database, all the commuters are refund an amount equal to the ticket charge from the breakdown point to the destination! 

This ensures other BMTC drivers wont deny the commuters a ride, since their collection would go down! 

In anycase, there needs to be a better solution to what I saw today! comment guidelines

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