In a city with over 1.2 crore vehicles, breakdowns adding to traffic woes are only expected. However, the top spot in the list of vehicles which have broken down this year goes to Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses with 1,478 instances, data from Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) revealed.
Every month, the number of BMTC buses which breakdown is anywhere between 120 and 170, the traffic police said. The officials reported that at least four to five buses break down every day on the roads causing traffic snarls.
“As a regular commuter of BMTC buses, at least once every week I see buses breaking down. They make us board a different bus which travels in the route. Sometimes we have to wait for 5 to 10 minutes for another bus to come. This disrupts our timelines especially since I take the bus to travel to my workplace,” said Suparna Shankar, who regularly travels from Yelahanka New Town to Cauvery Bhavan.
Apart from causing inconvenience to the commuters, these breakdowns also often cause traffic inconvenience. “These numbers are just from arterial roads, and we have not even considered side roads. When a bus breaks down an entire carriageway gets blocked. This increases the traffic congestion by 30% on a three-lane road and by 50% on a two-lane road,” M.N. Anucheth, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Bengaluru, told The Hindu. “As most of these buses have pneumatic brakes, we cannot even push them when the brakes are jammed. The technicians from BMTC have to come and repair them,” he added.
However, BMTC officials said a bus stopping on roads is counted as a breakdown only if it fails to run even after an hour. “Like with any other vehicles, our buses also sometimes face minor issues on the road. They are usually resolved within an hour. But when it comes to actual breakdowns, the incidents are less than 0.5%. Unlike private vehicles, we ensure that our buses are scrapped after 1 lakh kilometres and no bus leaves the depot without maintenance every night,” said a public relations officer from BMTC.
Over 4,500 vehicles off road
Including the BMTC buses, a total of 4,658 vehicles have broken down this year according to the data from BTP. A total of 395 Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses, 327 private buses, and 713 Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) and cars are among the vehicles which have broken down.
“Every day, around 15-20 vehicles break down in the city. Especially the stretch between Hebbal and Tin Factory, is more prone to breakdowns. It is not clear if there is some gradient issue on the road or any other problem,” Mr. Anucheth said.