The 50 Paise Campaign

*Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike*

The 50paise Campaign!!

*Rs. 5 for 10 km!*

*Rs. 15 for 11-20 km!*

*Rs. 25 for anything above 20 km!*

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus services, the transport of Bangalore’s ‘common man’, have become increasingly unaffordable over the years. Over the last year and a half, the bus fares have gone up by a steep 50%, increasing the economic hardship for Bangaloreans. If a garment worker or a pourakarmika, who earns Rs. 5000 a month, buys a monthly pass for Rs. 725 (Rs. 925 for red board buses), she shells out 15-20% of her income just for commuting, which increase if more people in the family use the bus. Many people are now cutting their health and education expenses to be able to commute in the city. Many have simply started walking to their destinations because bus fares are now unaffordable!

Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike (BBPV) was formed in 2013 in response to the steep fare hikes by BMTC in June 2013. The Vedike has been campaigning for better BMTC services including reduced fares. While there have been positive responses from BMTC on some fronts, the management has summarily rejected the rollback of fares, despite many discussions, petitions and protests.

We believe that these fare hikes only signify BMTC’s obsession with profits. Public transport is an essential service, and the right to public transport exists independent of profitability. The affordability of a service determines how many people can use it, and access to public transport cannot depend on diesel prices and profits for BMTC. Many other cities and towns across the country are running bus services at more affordable rates, and there are cities across the world which even provide free public bus services. It is possible for Bangalore to imagine a subsidized affordable bus service, where commuters are not at the mercy of administrative inefficiencies and rising diesel prices.

With diesel prices steadily increasing, the next fare hike is almost inevitable. Therefore, the State and BMTC need to wake up from the myopic profit model and start seeing bus services as a public good, and provision it as an affordable service for the public, which will not only improve mobility, but will also reduce the pollution levels, improve people’s health and safety and reduce overall fuel consumption in the city.

*We want a fare structure, in which passengers would pay Rs. 5 for the first ten kilometres, Rs. 10 for any distance ten to twenty kilometres, and Rs. 15 for any distance above twenty kilometres. A daily pass should be for Rs. 25, and a monthly pass should be for Rs. 250, which is 5% of the government-mandated minimum wage. Those earning below the minimum wage should be given free bus passes. We believe this is logical and feasible, and we urge the government to establish a participatory process of fare-fixation which takes into account the needs of BMTC’s largest stakeholders, namely, the people of Bangalore.*

On the *18th of February, 2014*, we are launching the *50Paise Campaign *
at *Majestic Bus Stand*, 
from *3.30 to 5.30*, 
to urge BMTC and the Government to shift from a profit-oriented model of public transport to a service-oriented model. 

We plan to collect *10 lakh signatures* to our memorandum, and submit it to the Chief Minister, asking him to provide greater support to BMTC. 

We will also hold a *public rally* on *March 4*, 
from *Corporation Bus Stand* to the *Gandhi Statue at Sampangi Rama Nagar*, demanding for a revised fare structure. 
*Come join us in making BMTC accountable to the people who matter the most- commuters!*

*Contact*: 122/4, Infantry Road, Bangalore: 560001 *Email*:, *Phone*: 988059503296322234609449399729

Support Citizen Matters - independent, Reader-funded media that covers your city like no other.DONATE
About Deepa Mohan 767 Articles
Deepa Mohan is a freelance writer and avid naturalist.