BENGALURU: For the first time since its launch in May 2008, the Vayu Vajra buses of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will be opened up for online reservation. The move, to be launched next week, is expected to boost occupancy. Booking will be opened a month before the journey date and will close 30 minutues prior to departure.
A senior BMTC official told TNIE, “We will open bookings on the KSRTC Awatar platform. There is a high chance of a passenger hopping onto a bus if an advance ticket is purchased.” This would do away with the anxiety people have over whether the airport bus would turn up or if they would get a seat, he added.
Airport buses grew extremely popular among flyers due to the cheaper cost compared to cabs that cost anywhere between Rs 800 and Rs 2,000. Bus fares range from Rs 100 (Hunsemaranahalli and KIA) to Rs 320 (Electronic City and KIA).
Services closed on March 23 and reopened on June 3 but patronage is low. Just 335 trips are run daily now, instead of the 768 before the lockdown. October saw 4,603 passengers per day compared to 15,200 passengers daily in January 2020.
“The huge dip in air passenger traffic and the fear of using public transport has pushed many people to use personal vehicles to go to the airport,” he added. Vayu Vajra routes from Whitefield TTMC, Banashankari and K R Puram to are not operating due to poor patronage, BMTC data shows.
The revenue of the Corporation too has shrunk to a third of its previous levels. In October 2020, it earned Rs 3.22 crore from ticket fares compared to Rs 9.48 crore in January. “Air travel is gradually increasing. We are optimistic that our occupancy too will rise,” another official said.
‘People to plan air travel in next 3 mts’
Half of flyers who were surveyed by AirAsia in the past two years said they planned to travel by air in the next three months. “Another 36% indicated that they are considering travelling,” the airline said. Holiday traffic is set to surge, it added.
Source/ Courtesy: The New Indian Express