The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) operates air-conditioned Volvo buses in Bengaluru. But soon these may be handed over to other State-owned transport corporations as they are not generating the expected revenue.
The corporations to which these Volvo buses may be handed over include The North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC), the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC), and the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC).
Volvo Being Handed Over To Corporations Due To Losses
While talking to media, the Chief Minister of Karnataka H.D. Kumaraswamy said that the BMTC was facing losses on these Volvo buses and even hinted that they may soon hand it over to other Corporations. Kumaraswamy said, “There are over 1,000 air-conditioned Volvo buses being operated in Bengaluru city. They are incurring losses. It is profitable only when each bus runs 150–200 km a day. But that is not practically possible in Bengaluru. We are, therefore, thinking of handing over them to other Corporations.”
The CM of Karnataka also said that his government plans to purchase 3,000 new buses for reviving the corporations. The Minister for Animal Husbandry & Fisheries and In-Charge of Raichur, Venkatarao Nadagouda and Minister for Tourism Affairs Sa Ra Mahesh were present at the time of this discussion.
Cost Of Air-Conditioned Buses Has Taken Toll On BMTC
The cost of operations of air-conditioned buses and ordinary buses have started affecting the earnings of BMTC. Currently, the corporation is spending around Rs.83.7/km for running the Volvo buses whereas the earning from them is Rs. 63.1. The corporation spends Rs.57.9/km on ordinary buses and their earning is Rs. 41.5. This loss of Rs.20.6/km on AC buses and Rs.16.4/km on ordinary/non-AC buses are taking a toll on BMTC.
According to the BMTC officials, non-profitable routes, fuel price hike, and the increasing cost of maintenance of the aged fleet also are contributing towards a hike in operational costs. Thus, the maintenance cost of Volvo buses is much higher than non-AC buses. Also, the ridership in these air-conditioned buses is low because of the steep structure of fare as compared to shared cab services and non-AC buses.