BMTC– the Bengaluru Metro Transport Corporation. Any Banglorean who isn’t familiar with these buses are unfit to be in Bengaluru, or it simply means that they haven’t stepped out of their houses, in like, ever. These buses have caused, or at least, been a part of every single problem seen in the city. They scare the hell out of you, if you ride a two wheeler to work or college, or if you’re a pedestrian, you may become deaf while crossing a road infested with these buses, or even if you are just a passenger inside it, you will be thrown off balance even if you have a seat claimed as yours.
But, Bengaluru without BMTC buses is like Mysore without the Palace. Also, more than three fourths of the population of Bengaluru depends on these buses (Bengaluru’s population is nearly, or probably more than a crore). And if you haven’t traveled in a BMTC bus, be it a Volvo (a/c bus), or any regular non a/c bus, then you haven’t seen Bengaluru. Or, at least the true face of it.
My relationship with these buses started at the end of my First PU, when we moved from our Jayanagar house (which was only a kilometer far from my college) to JP Nagar house, where I was forced to catch a bus. And this one particular bus, the number 2A, has troubled me like any regular boyfriend would.
So, my first ride was on January 31, a Thursday, late afternoon, at around 3:30. I hadn’t got my bus pass yet (for those who don’t know what it is, it is a card made for a particular route and you pay beforehand so you don’t have to buy tickets), and it costed me Rs. 10 in the beginning and today it is 14 rupees.
The people for this particular route are comparatively very less when compared to any other bus. By the time we get to my stop, it is usually me, the driver and the conductor. So, the drivers and the conductors are wee bit lazy to be up and going. And there are people who wait hours to get this bus (*cough* me *cough*). And if that couldn’t get any worse, there are hardly 8 buses in this route.
Now ya’ll are going to ask me: was that the only way to get home?
There are other ways, well, one other way but it’s so filthy and with people keeping it that way, it brings me to tears. I prefer not going that way. And, besides, it requires me to catch two buses in that route.
Coming back to 2A, if everyday is bad, Saturdays are the worst. College left at 1:30 on Saturdays, and it’s lunchtime for the drivers and the conductors. Since my sister also want to college during my PU, she usually came to the bus stop at 2:30 and we would wait till it was three, and then catch an auto rickshaw home. Then we would see a 2A parked in it’s bus stop.
Even through all these difficulties, there is joy in waiting for a bus. When you see your bus after waiting for a long time, the feeling of being relieved is priceless. These days, I don’t rely much on 2A, but I do as often as I can.
Whatever said and done about BMTC buses, I say they’re the best thing that happened to Bengaluru. The conductors are really kind and helpful if you’re lost (I have been lost a couple of times, on purpose, but that’s a story for another day), or if you want to go to a new place. Without them, Bengaluru wouldn’t survive. And all these rich snobs who travel in taxis and not in buses and autos, SCREW YOU!