After having companies rebuff its charter services owing to the lack of proper facilities in its buses in the past, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is looking to regain some lost ground by offering its latest additions to this fleet.
The corporation recently took a delivery of 100 premium buses from manufacturer Volvo and plans to put a few of these on charter duty. With many more buses due for delivery in the coming months, the BMTC says it is confident of meeting the demands of companies to ferry their employees.
Last year, the corporation lost its oldest customer when IT major Infosys decided to cut down the BMTC charter fleet from 170 to just 20 buses. At the time, crumbling infrastructure and rattling and leaky buses were cited as the reason. To counter this, the BMTC is pitching amenities such as wireless Internet connectivity and in-bus entertainment modules.
“We have around 200 buses that are a mix of ordinary and premium. We can offer rates which cannot be matched by private players and we have a combination of charter buses and dedicated buses for companies. Based on their requirements, the BMTC is also willing to customise offers and routes so that the companies do not have to spend more,” BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur said.
Firms which have employees to be picked up over a route of 60 km or more can opt for chartering a 50-seater or a 42-seater bus from the BMTC. Officials, however, remained tight-lipped about how much the services would cost, only saying they would be much cheaper than private bus services. “We will soon have enough buses to focus on scaling up our charter services and [we] want to convince companies to shift to BMTC,” Ms. Caur said.
At present, approximately 250 buses are being operated for around 20 companies on the dedicated bus system. This is a mix of both normal and premium buses. The companies are billed regularly and employees do not have to obtain concessional passes. Another service where employees obtain concessional fare passes to use charter services has 200 buses in operation.