manish wrote:It is a testament to their efforts that today KSRTC/BMTC are doing well both in terms of market share and profitability despite being costlier than the competition by a fair bit.
In the recent past I had a chance to use the BMTC buses quiet very often. And I must say that they are visionaries in many fronts. First, they introduced the low floor buses (built on Tata and Leyland chasis) which had good comfortable seats and also catered good to the standing passengers. These buses also had bigger wind shields/side windows etc. so that even standing passengers could look out and and see and identify the locality.
Then they introduced Volvo buses, which were very similar to the models I have seen in Europe. As vina
said they also did an optimization of routes and now run primarily on the IT-Vity corridor. These buses are quite worth the money which the passengers pay for. The crew also seems to have some additional trainings. Now they have also introduced Tata Marcopolo buses (which costs 1/2 the price of Volvos), and they are a hit too. If I remember correctly BMTC also introduced the first digital/LED type destination board which displays information in English and Kannada (Shudh Hindi
). BMTC rather than playing socialists (and having bad buses put up equally for every one) clearly introduced better buses, and then also charged the IT-Vity crowd more
Another good concept I liked was the automatic announcements and display of the next stop and the final destination of the bus. I dont know how this is operated (GPS or Manual) but this is a good system to have. Especially for folks who are new to Bangalore and cannot identify bus stops by sight. Here again the display and announcements are in English and Kannada (Shudh Hindi
) but it serves the purpose quite well.
Karnataka SRTC also successfully implemented the private-public partnership when it comes to running long distance Volvo buses. The buses are privately owned, and leased out to Kar.SRTC. The driver is provided by the owner, conductor comes from the Kar.SRTC. The private bus owners are also to maintain their vehicles, and they are happy to do that. Which private businessman wants to have a big Volvo bus idling its time in the workshop without generating any revenue?
In other words, I am happy to see a government body like Kar.SRTC and BMTC moving away from the socialist concept of making/treating every one as the cattle class and giving sub-standard service to every one across the board. These people have realised the way economy is going, and providing the services accordingly. And they also have not forgotten the rural sector or the poor man.
Tamil Nadu for ages have been good in providing real cheap public transport to its people. The biggest white elephant in the area seems to be the KSRTC of the socialist republic. Out dated buses, over-staffed depots, unionised workers, no sense of ownership and innovation at all. An IPS officer appointed as the MD did try to revamp the system and he was partially successful. But the white elephant would take atleast 5-7 years to make some profit. But looks like some sense is also entering the heads of the employees.