Bangalore AC bus Service losing passengers due to competition from other transport services….

Interesting bit of news in Bangalore Times of India.

The AC Bus Service in Bangalore is called Vajra and is a mascot for BMTC. Both its driver/conductor and the passengers had this haughty attitude travelling in the bus looking at passengers waiting for cheaper non-AC buses.

Now the AC bus service is getting competition from AC ride sharing taxis and the Metro. Its sales revenues have dipped leading to concerns:

Once the luxe mascot of the BMTC, Vajra, the AC bus service, is losing its sheen. Namma Metro, Uber and Ola have drawn away customers of the BMTC’s premier service, pulling down its revenues by 3-4%.

The BMTC was earning on an average Rs 2 crore daily from Vajra services. But the daily earnings have dipped by Rs 8 lakh, prompting BMTC officials to think of ways to arrest it immediately. BMTC buses were ferrying 50.2 lakh commuters every day. Since June 17 when the entire 42-km of Namma Metro Phase I became operational with commissioning of the Majestic interchange, the ridership on BMTC buses has come down to 49.1 lakh. Namma Metro, which recorded a daily ridership of 1.8 lakh before June 17, now ferries 3.31 lakh commuters every day.

BMTC officials said the fall in ridership is felt more severely in Vajra services. The BMTC’s daily earnings on an average is Rs 3.8 crore and Vajra accounts for more than half of it, they pointed out.

“We cannot compete with Metro, because it has speed on its side and no doubt, it is beneficial as it reduces travel time by half or more. But we have also lost our ridership to illegal services like the ride-sharing modes of cab aggregators. Also, many private buses are now running from the outskirts to the city centres. We have raised these issues with the transport department earlier but things have not changed much on ground,” a BMTC official said.

The official admitted that poor maintenance of Volvo buses and shortage of crew have also contributed to the loss. Volvo and BMTC had a maintenance contract, but it has lapsed for many old buses.

The BMTC is now focusing on turning around its Vajra fortunes. “One of the ways is to focus on routes that have not been benefitted by AC buses. Secondly, we must ensure that Vajra also acts a feeder for at least one or more Metro stations in every area where the Metro and BMTC service is operational so that people can get benefit of both and find using Vajra service a comfortable option,” the official said.

Eventually nothing else but competition wakes up most companies..

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