Reportedly in the absence of a functional suburban rail system like that in mumbai, chennai or a vast metro network like delhi, a large percentage of Bengalureans rely on the state-run bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses. But over the years, the average daily ridership of the BMTC has been going down as private vehicle usage increases.
Meanwhile this decline in BMTC ridership has been attributed by experts to the lack of reliability of the buses and the high price of tickets, which are in fact the highest in the country. Furthermore activists have argued that fares in some cases may be more expensive than travelling on two-wheelers and hence this even as the length of cancelled routes increased almost 200% over four years, from 241.6 lakh km in 2013-14 to 717.9 lakh km in 2017-18.
BMTC MD C Sikha told "The logic of replacing AC buses with non-AC buses does not make any sense. While there is no doubt the city needs at least double if not triple the number of buses, but we cannot choose to shut one in favour of the other. We will lose a specific class of bus users, especially in the airport routes if we stop AC services. We also run AC buses only where we feel there will be enough patronage. Moreover, we don’t have that many AC buses, in fact less than 20% of our entire fleet are AC ones". Apparently other BMTC officials suggested that as a public carrier like the railways, they are obliged to cater to the different needs and class of consumers.