In a significant move aimed at enhancing accessibility and affordability for nighttime commuters, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has recently taken a noteworthy step by rescinding the 1.5-times higher night rate on its bus services. This additional fee was imposed on journeys conducted within the city during the late-night hours, spanning from 11 pm to 5 am. This decision not only seeks to promote public transportation during nocturnal hours but also reflects the corporation’s commitment to making travel more equitable for all residents of Bengaluru.
The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has long maintained a practice of imposing a 1.5-times higher fare on its services operating within the city between the late hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. This premium pricing structure has been a point of contention for many commuters, particularly those who rely on public transport during these nighttime hours.
However, in a recent order, the BMTC has taken significant steps to rectify this issue. In their official statement accompanying the order, the BMTC emphasized their commitment to serving the needs of late-night and early-morning travelers. They recognized the importance of providing accessible and affordable transportation during these crucial hours.
As a result, effective from September 6, the corporation has abolished the premium night rate, aligning it with the regular passenger bus fares. This move represents a commendable effort by the BMTC to establish fare uniformity across all service timings and to prioritize the convenience and affordability of its passengers.
Ramalinga Reddy, the Minister of Transport, has voiced his strong opposition to the practice of imposing exorbitant fees during nighttime bus journeys. In light of this concern for fairness and equity in the public transportation system, the decision to eliminate the higher nighttime bus charges was made.
Minister Reddy emphasized the importance of maintaining a consistent fare structure that doesn’t discriminate based on the time of travel, ensuring that all individuals who rely on BMTC buses can avail themselves of affordable transportation services. This decision holds significant benefits for a multitude of passengers who depend on the BMTC for their daily commutes.
Addressing concerns about the financial implications of eliminating the 1.5-times night fare, Mr. Reddy, the Minister of Transport, has reassured that this change will not negatively impact the BMTC’s finances. Despite initial worries voiced by opposition parties regarding the potential adverse effects of the Shakti program on road transportation businesses, recent developments have shown a different picture.
All four businesses have reported an improvement in their financial standings, attributing it to the government’s reimbursement of ticket expenses. This demonstrates a harmonious balance between providing essential services and maintaining economic stability. In another stride towards enhancing the BMTC’s services, the official launch of their mobile app, aptly named “Namma BMTC,” is set to take place on September 25, coinciding with the BMTC’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Android and iOS users have had access to the app since April 20, 2023, with versions available in both English and Kannada. The app boasts various features, including a fare calculator, real-time bus tracking, information about nearby bus stops, and an SOS feature specially designed for the safety of female riders. However, it’s worth noting that despite these technological advancements, some older buses may not be fully equipped to integrate with the app’s functionalities.