The State government has allowed road transport corporations to run night services. Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, in an order issued on Thursday, said all four corporations in the State – KSRTC, NWKRTC, NEKRTC and BMTC – can operate from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The order also states that passengers, who travel in night service buses, can book an auto or taxi to reach the bus station or their homes during these hours. However, passengers and operators need to follow the health protocols issued by the Health Department.
After getting the order from the government, the KSRTC, on Friday, started night services from Bengaluru to Belagavai, Hubballi, Raichur, Ballari and some other destinations. “Starting Friday, we have introduced night services. We operated 25 buses till 11 p.m. We will gradually increase the number of services in the coming days based on demand,” said a KSRTC official.
Prior to this, passengers who arrived at their destination late in the night or in the wee hours, had a tough time reaching their homes as autos were not available from the bus stand. “Now, they can rely on autos and taxis to reach home after getting down at their destinations,” the official added.
Taxi and auto drivers are hoping to earn some revenue by ferrying passengers. Though auto and taxi services resumed on May 19, drivers say that revenue remains low.
BMTC ridership remains low
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is not keen on running night services as ridership remains on the lower side with people working from home.
“At present, we are operating services with around 4,600 buses between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. Around 8 lakh people are using BMTC during these hours. Due to poor patronage, we will wait for some time to introduce night services,” an official said.
Prior to the lockdown, over 35 lakh people used to travel in city buses every day.