The Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has a scope to run 900 buses in addition to its current fleet. However, a shortage of drivers has interrupted this plan.
Story so far: The BMTC currently has a fleet size of 6,798 buses of which only 5,600 are operational. While the corporation had a staff strength of 36,079 in 2013-14, it has been reduced to 29,726. Due to the pandemic, the state government instructed the BMTC to halt the recruitment of drivers as a measure to reduce the financial burden.
- Since there has been no recruitment for a long time, officials claim that there is a shortage of over 5,000 drivers.
- Due to the shortage, drivers need to work more to cover peak hours.
Cause of shortage: The last regular recruitment was conducted in 2018. Since then, hundreds of staff members have retired and over 1,000 have opted for inter-corporation transfers. This has also led to the underutilization of the AC bus fleet with over 400 not being used.
- Additionally, exorbitant fuel prices pose a burden, making it unaffordable to run these buses.