Despite having a fleet of 6,798 buses, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation can only operate 5,600 buses; There is an option to run an additional 900 buses per day, but a lack of drivers has put a stop to those plans.
Despite having a fleet of 6,798 buses, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation can only operate 5,600 buses; There is an option to run an additional 900 buses every day, but a lack of drivers has put a stop to those plans.
Despite the fleet size of 6,798 buses, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) can operate only 5,600. There is scope for an additional 900 buses a day, but a lack of drivers has put a stop to those plans.
In 2013-14, BMTC had a fleet of 6,775 buses with a staff strength of 36,079. At the moment, the corporation has almost the same fleet size (6,798), but the number of employees has decreased to 29,726.
After the outbreak of the pandemic, the state government ordered the BMTC to stop hiring drivers as one of the measures to reduce the financial burden. Instead, BMTC was asked to outsource the drivers on a contractual basis. The corporation is still buying time to fill vacancies.
According to officials, there is a shortage of more than 5,000 drivers. “Drivers have not been hired for a long time, resulting in a shortage. Undoubtedly, this led to a reduction in the number of services. The understaffing is also hurting drivers as they have to work longer hours to cover peak hours. At the same time, the fleet is not fully utilized. In the pre-Covid-19 era, the bus covered a distance of 210 km, but now it has reduced to 150 km,” the official said.
It is stated that compared to the situation before COVID-19, due to lack of staff, the corporation is unable to carry out more than 500 service schedules (about 5,000 trips).
Latest Recruitment in 2018
Sources said the last regular recruitment was in 2018 and hundreds of personnel have retired from the service over the years. More than 1,000 employees, including drivers, conductors and others, have also opted for inter-corporate transfers. According to sources, more than 500 transfers have been provisionally listed this year.
For more than two years, the fleet of AC buses of the corporation is not fully utilized. BMTC fleet consists of 860 buses, of which more than 400 are not in use. “Despite the demand, we cannot run AC buses. On the other hand, the high cost of fuel makes it financially impossible to run these buses.”
Based on the contract
BMTC NS Chairperson Nandeesha Reddy said, “There are various factors behind the shortage of staff. When inter-corporation transfers were allowed, many drivers preferred to go to KSRTC and other corporations to work in their native places. In view of the shortage of staff, the State Government has directed the BMTC to hire drivers on contract basis. We are tendering for 1000 drivers and once they join, it will help us launch more services.
Sources said the management is also approaching the government for permission for regular recruitment.