Will implement it soon, says company PRO
In January 2019, BMTC had announced all its buses would carry a uniform blue-and-white colour code within a few months in order to maintain a better identity. Ten months on, there is no sign of these colours. The Observer found buses painted green, orange and double colours plying in the city.
BMTC PRO Deepak said: “The rule is not totally implemented. We planned it earlier and it is still on. The buses will be painted when they goes for an annual fitness check. All buses will undergo the process. It is mandatory for us to paint it every year during fitness checks. To colour a bus, it will take approximately Rs 20,000. It is not an extra expense because anyway the bus is going to be painted and now we are going to paint it in uniform colours.”
“The uniform colour system is a need for the city. It was implemented for the convenience of the passengers. But right now, we are working on it and will implement it soon,” he added.
The blue-and-white colour code applies to around 6,000 ordinary BMTC buses currently in operation. Meanwhile, the Vajra and Vayu Vajra AC bus services will continue to have the same blue colour.
When the announcement was made, V Ponnuraj, then managing director of BMTC, said around 82% of the employees and 65% of the people, who were surveyed opted for blue-and-white over other colours. There were very few people who preferred green; about 15% of the participants were indifferent to the proposed change in colour.
Talk about making the bus colour uniform began in January 2015. The proposal was worked upon following complaints by commuters that different colours of the buses often leave them confused. As a public transport utility, it is in the interest of commuters that all the buses should be in the same colour to mark their identity.
“They don’t have enough funds to do it,” said SanjeevV. Dyamannavar, an urban mobility expert. “This plan didn’t add any value to neither passenger nor BMTC. There are different kinds of buses and they all are already identified as BMTC buses. Then why should they spend on changing the bus colour? I don’t think they will implement it any soon. That is why they are taking it slowly. Why would they paint a bus that is perfectly looking good?”
In March 2015, BMTC pitched the idea of having all their buses under three categories of colours: Green (for ordinary buses), Blue (for air-conditioned buses, including Airport buses) and Orange (for feeder services). Launching the colour-code programme, officials hoped to complete the rebranding within one-and-a-half years.
In September 2016, the idea resurfaced and BMTC concluded that the bus colours would be orange, green and blue. It is an “inspired” colour code, according to the department officials – green from the city’s gardens, orange from the spirit of joy and happiness, and blue from the sky.
Commuters The Observer interviewed said the delay in implementation of uniform colours could be because of the change in government in Karnataka.
Prakash P, a passenger, said: “The government kept changing and there was much other confusion among parties as well. Maybe that could be the reason for BMTC having trouble implementing the system. This is not a very useful idea. They can better use the funds to improve the facility in buses. They do it for name’s sake to make the city look more like a smart city.”
The statement that BMTC buses would be repainted during their annual fitness checks has created confusion among some passengers. Jovita Y, a resident of Whitefield, said: “If the buses are repainted during fitness checks, then by now almost 90% of the buses should be in blue and white. This proves that the buses are not serviced properly.”
In the past, BMTC buses had more than 10 colour schemes that included even brown and silver. However, this was dropped after considering a Korean bus-transport model. As per the model, ordinary buses were green in colour while AC buses came in blue and white. On the other hand, feeder bus services for the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd sported orange colour.