BMTC goes the ‘last mile’ for Bengaluru DC | Johnlee Abraham | 10 hours 24
*Bengaluru:* In a bid to ease the traffic on the roads and ensure 'last
mile connectivity', the city transport corporation — BMTC is gearing up to
revive its mini bus programme. A pilot project will be launched by October,
while a new fleet of 150 mini buses will be introduced on routes
perpendicular to Electronic City, Chandapur and Attibele.
Almost a decade ago, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation
(BMTC) introduced mini-buses into its fleet. However, the fleet of 120
buses was never expanded because the project was believed to be
uneconomical at the time.
"The existing Swaraj Mazda buses didn't have too many takers as the ride
itself was quite uncomfortable. The BMTC never did increase the number of
mini buses in its fleet," said BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez.
The BMTC is now looking at vehicles that are more comfortable, to
effectively reintroduce the mini bus induction programme. "The plan is to
bring in new mini buses that will be 9 meters long, with a lower-floor
footboard. It will have a sitting space of about 26 to 28 people with
adequate leg room and enough floor space for standing passengers," added
The pilot will be introduced around October this year, with about 150 new
mini buses operating on the peripheries of Electronic city, Chandapur and
Attebele. "The idea is to have a perpendicular route connecting the main
routes to the borders. The existing longer buses will operate on the main
routes, while mini buses will do the rounds on the perpendicular routes,"
At present, BMTC has a fleet strength of about 6,400 buses. However, the
issue with the existing buses is that they are low on mileage. Another
issue that is often faced by the longer BMTC buses is that there are very
few passengers on certain routes during the non-peak hours. "We want to
increase efficiency along these routes by using mini buses during non peak
hours. This will save fuel as well," said Parvez.
The new mini buses will be BS IV standard. The proposal will be brought
before the BMTC Board this week. The pilot will be introduced by the funds
provided by the BMTC. Expanding the fleet will be funded by the Jawaharlal
Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme, Parvez said.
*City pays no heed to BMTC*
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and transport
experts have tried tirelessly to encourage the citizens of Bengaluru to use
public transport. Their words have largely fallen on deaf ears, especially
to those who own vehicles. Transport experts blame this on ‘last mile
In order to ensure 'last mile connectivity', the BMTC will have to start
with working on a well defined trunk route, so branches can be worked
around it. Urban Expert R K Mishra said that the idea of the 'last mile'
revolves around a well defined trunk route that had a well-timed frequency
Take for example, the Electronic City to ITPL route. Everybody who uses
public transport knows that they can get a bus frequently from Old Airport
Road. But what happens to those people who live around CMH Road or those
coming from Old Madras Road? This is how we need to bring in the Last Mile
Connectivity, Mishra opined.
While the idea of 'last mile connectivity' is plausible, it does not mean
that buses will pass by every house.
"The last mile connect works in a radius of 500 metres to 1 km. This gives
rise to another problem. People who want to cover the short distances on
foot don't have enough space. There is no adequate pedestrian space and
since they have to walk through broken footpaths and even on the road
itself in some places, they prefer taking their own vehicles instead.”
To search the archives of sustran-discuss visit
SUSTRAN-DISCUSS is a forum devoted to discussion of people-centred, equitable and sustainable transport with a focus on developing countries (the 'Global South').