BMTC withdraws buses, leaves commuters in lurch in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: The city was left without its public transport when BMTC withdrew its bus services without prior notice in view of the state-wide bandh over the Mahadayi dispute on Thursday.

Most buses remained stationary in all major depots like Yeshwanthpur, Deepanjalainagar and Katriguppe,  and resumed services from around 5pm to 6 pm. “A couple of buses ran early in the morning but were withdrawn once they reached Majestic. Commuters were asked to vacate them,” said a senior BMTC official. Given that 50 lakh odd passengers commute on the buses, many were left stranded at the bus stops , including the Majestic bus stand.  

Daily wage earners were the biggest hit as they had no other transport option to reach their workplaces.  Those stranded at the Majestic were furious at the sudden change in plan by the BMTC and demanded to know why it had not informed them a day earlier. BMTC Managing Director V. Ponnuraj admitted that the corporation had lost Rs 3.5-4 crore in revenue as  a result of the bandh.

KSRTC too limited its services with only five of  its 15 divisions operating skeletal services until 1 pm. The Kolar KSRTC bus stand was the worst hit followed by Bengaluru Central (BCD) and Shivamogga divisions . 

Autos, app- based cabs and independent taxis,however, operated as usual but quoted exorbitant fares. Commuters complained of being charged Rs 150 , triple the metre fare of Rs 40, from Shivajinagar to Cantonment by autorickshaws. Some auto drivers even demanded Rs 1000 to ferry desperate passengers over longer distances. 

Uber and Ola almost doubled  their fares given the high commuter demand. Both Ola and Uber hatchbacks were priced the same as the sedans for the same distances. 

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