Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Getting a BMTC monthly bus pass

At the beginning of this month, I decided to get the BMTC monthly bus pass since it had become a big pain to carry enough change every morning. On 4th May evening, I asked the bus conductor of a Volvo to give me the bus pass and I paid him Rs.1250. It was a big relief on 5th morning when I was leaving for work. "I don't have to carry 10s or coins. I can switch buses easily without any problem", I thought to myself. As I was about to leave my home, I quickly looked at the bus pass and there was a mention of ID card. I quickly went to my cupboard and grabbed my PAN card. Without much waiting time, I boarded a Volvo to work. When the conductor asked me to show the bus pass, I happily showed the pass as well as my PAN card. She stared at them for a while and then said "This is not a valid ID card. This pass is invalid". I looked at her in disbelief and replied "PAN card is a valid ID proof just like driving license".

There were other passengers overhearing this conversation. One of the passengers showed me a new ID card and said that this is the ID card we are supposed to carry and it's issued by BMTC. Now how the hell am I supposed to know that? I don't see any specific need to carry another ID card. Thankfully he also gave a tip that this ID card is available in Shanti Nagar Bus depot only till 6th of every month. Or else I need to go to Majestic to get this ID card. None of these make sense to me. Anyway, the next day, I went to Shanti Nagar bus depot and purchased the ID card. This trip took me more than an hour. Such a waste of time and energy!

1) Why should we get another ID card? Why doesn't BMTC allow either PAN card, driving license or voter's ID card?
2) Why doesn't the conductor check if the commuter already has this so-called BMTC ID card before issuing the monthly pass?
3) Why can't the conductors carry the fresh ID card which commuters can purchase while purchasing the monthly pass and then they can apply the stamp?
4) Why do they issue the ID cards only till 6th of every month in Shanti Nagar bus depot?
5) Why should one go all the way to Majestic bus stand just to get this ID card after 6th?

If BMTC wants more and more people to take public transport, they should make things easily accessible. Will they ponder over these 5 questions and make this bus pass purchasing process simpler for commuters?

Update: (based on Times of India article dated 6th June 2010)
 BMTC has introduced a friendly pass which you can purchase directly from the bus conductor. You can use any ID card like driver's license, passport, voter's ID card etc. With this new pass, all the five questions I raised have been answered. Kudos to BMTC!!!

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIBG/2010/06/02&PageLabel=3&EntityId=Ar00301&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T

7 comments:

trouble_monger said...

Thanks for the info regarding the bmtc pass. I am sure it will help a lot of commuters who want to get a monthly pass. Here are my views on the questions which are pondering you:

1. It would be difficult to give the task of identifying ID cards to bus conductors. They may not be able to check the authenticity of the myriads ID cards available to the citizen. Moreover, the BMTC ID card is valid for 4 years, so travelling to Shantinagar/majestic once in four years is a very small price to pay

2. Good point. (The ID card is mentioned in their website http://www.bmtcinfo.com/site/BSBusPasses.jsp . So it is a bit surprising that a blogger like you did not notice it!)

3. ID cards need to be laminated. And theoretically they have to verify your address proof before providing your ID card. So it makes sense for the conductors not to issue ID cards.

4. I am happy that they have started issuing at shanti nagar(eventhough it is only till 6th)! Earlier only majestic used to issue.

5. I guess due to logistic reasons! Most people who wud buy ID cards wud do so at the beginning of the month. And ID card is valid for 4 years. So i dont think it makes sense to open counters at all BMTC stands throughout the month.

The wild said...

1) Why should we get another ID card? Why doesn't BMTC allow either PAN card, driving license or voter's ID card?

To simplify the conductors job to be one ,second thing they have a uniform database of pass holders


2) Why doesn't the conductor check if the commuter already has this so-called BMTC ID card before issuing the monthly pass?

He just assumed it ,since volvos have been running for a long time and people are aware of it.

3) Why can't the conductors carry the fresh ID card which commuters can purchase while purchasing the monthly pass and then they can apply the stamp?

This could be a good idea.

4) Why do they issue the ID cards only till 6th of every month in Shanti Nagar bus depot?

Good question ,it should certainly be avaialable right thru -just like the pass

5) Why should one go all the way to Majestic bus stand just to get this ID card after 6th

Looks ridiculous ,not sure if there is some operational reason for this

Hope you have a nice time enjoying volvos in bangalore :)

Vijaya said...

Why don't you issue weekly passes also for the same rate, Rs 165 per week. You can get more commuters as many labourors will be paid weekly and it is easy for them to buy weekly passes. People who go on leave can also skip paying for th whole month. BMTC is know for its friendly rules, so they can also accommodatge this.v

Vijaya said...

I took pain go to shivajinagar to get my senior citizen ID card and after one month I got the card. I applied for this card mainly to avail BMTC bus concession. I am 60 years old. I thought they have same rules like Railways. But now I understand the age should be 65 years to avail this concession. 65 years is too long and we may not be able to travel at all. So I request the BNTC authorities to consider 60 years like the Indian railways to avail the bus concession. Thank you for your consideration. Vijaya Prasad

Bijith :|: ബിജിത്‌ said...

Now you know the reason why BMTC is the most ( or only ) state owned bus operator who makes profit. But I do appreciate their initiatives like Big 10 which connects important spots

Mayur Patel said...

I also faced the same problem while travelling to ITPL.. I think this is the new way to collect extra money from public.

Lopamudra Chaudhuri said...

Wrong...today only 335E refused to give me monthly pass .reason.....I had pan card with me and not I card issued from majestic bus stand.