Problems with the Vayu Vajra/Volvo services on BMTC

The Vayu Vajra Volvo service is specifically for commuters to and from the airport. However, on 31 Oct 2013,  when I came out of the airport terminal after a 30-hour plane journey,  hoping to take the bus, at 1.30am. I was told that since the “demand  kadimeyittu” (demand was low) , the Vayu Vajra service up to 4.30am had been withdrawn. BMTC is making good profits; why should they withdraw a service precisely when it is most needed, just because the number of commuters is low? Is profit the only consideration when it is a matter of public transportation?
I was forced to take a cab home, which was both expensive and less potentially safe. The more the services are withdrawn, the less citizens will be motivated to use the buses; this will be a vicious spiral downwards. This is sad, especially when I have found that taking the bus to  the airport, and to where I live (Jayadeva Flyover, Bannerghatta Road) takes the same or less time on a bus compared to a cab.
BMTC should have an updated timing chart for the Vayu Vajra on their website, and have a good feedback system.
I have been unduly harassed on many buses, not just the Volvos; but definitely, I find the drivers and conductors on these buses often arrogant and rude. I too agree that some sensitization programs would help a lot. Our mindset that equates being at the wheel of a vehicle with power, with the amount of ego being directly proportional to the size and power of the vehicle, has to be changed…a long-term process. 
 If only more of our public spaces (eg Cubbon Park) and our entertainment/arts venues (with Chowdiah and Alliance Francaise topping the list) were better connected by bus services, our mobility as non-car-using citizens would be much improved. The hub system also makes for long commutes which working people may not have the time for.
I also rue the lack of  transparency on the part of BMTC; the complete lack of a citizen’s forum, or any response to feedback.
That said…the bus services in Bangalore have improved beyond belief in the past decade, and I am proud to have almost completely given up using a car.
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About Deepa Mohan 767 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.