Will BMTC re-introduce Double Decker buses?
Double Decker buses in Bangalore formed a popular and a significant proportion of the BMTC fleet in the 80’s and the 90’s. But eventually these bulky buses were phased out because of their low mileage, sluggish acceleration and the large amount of road space that these buses took on road. However these buses had an aesthetic appeal and an advantage of carrying more passengers in a given vehicle which Bangalore‘s explosive population definitely needs today.
While there has been a report that BMTC is considering to reintroduce the double Decker buses into the BMTC fleet, we need to examine some basic questions.
1) Will the Double Decker bus help in reducing traffic when compared to a conventional bus. The answer seems to be obviously true because the bus will easily hold more passengers than the normal bus.
2) Will the Double-deckers buses turn out to be as time efficient as the normal bus? Yes and No. Because the average speed of the BMTC fleet over the city is a paltry 15 km/hr, the double-decker owing to more passengers might cover a given distance at a longer time. This might hint that they might not be that efficient in getting you from point A to point B.
3) An interesting thing to note is that Volvo is offering to provide state of the art Double Decker buses. In this scenario one could safely presume that the power and capacity of the double Decker bus Volvo bus would still match or be better than a regular BMTC non Volvo bus. However the biggest rouble would be in deciding the routes for the Double-deckers.
4) To run the Double-deckers in the narrow streets of Bangalore would be a challenge as there is an easy danger of touching overhead electric wires, tree branches and getting stuck under narrow underpasses. But Double-deckers could be really efficient for plying on long distance mainstream roads such as the Bellary road, and the IT serving roads such as the Whitefield, Marthahali and ring road circuits.
But from a common man’s perspective, the only question one needs to ask is whether these costly Double-decker buses would run empty or full on the proposed routes. Hopefully BMTC will definitely look into the feasibility of this initiative and make use of the tax payer’s money in an effective manner.