Bengaluru's Electric Bus Services Affected Amid Drivers' Protest Against Low Wages

The electric bus services of BMTC were affected during peak hours on Wednesday after drivers went on strike to protest against low wages.
Electric Bus

Bengaluru Electric Bus Services Were Hit As Divers Protest (Credits: Unsplash)

Bengaluru: The operation of electric bus services operated by Bengaluru Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (BMTC) were affected during the morning peak hour after outsourced driving staff called a strike asking for better pay.
The driving staff of almost 113 non-Ac-e buses refused to report to work.
Interruption of Bus Services
27 schedules from the first shift (7 am to 2 pm) and 46 schedules from the regular shift (7 am to 5 pm) were affected because of the strike, according to BMTC.
After the company representatives spoke to the drivers and managed to convince them, they reported back to work and resumed operations around 11 am.
The electric buses attached to other depots were not affected by the strike, according to a BMTC official. He further said that the BMTC was not responsible for the interruption of the bus services as the driving staff was hired by TML Smart City Mobility Solutions Limited. The buses were also supplied by them on a Gross Cost Contract (GCC) for 12 years.
Protest Demands
The driving staff had three main demands: a raise in salary, higher overtime payments and free travel on all Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses.
The drivers get a gross salary of Rs 22,000 and get Rs 18,000 in hand. According to the protesters they are not satisfied with their pay and claim it to be too little. The electric bus drivers were recruited on a contractual basis. The drivers further claimed that BMTC promised them a salary of 26,000 per month at the beginning. They also demanded better overtime payments and free travel on all buses. Currently, they can only travel free of cost on BMTC buses.
246 e-buses have been provided by the company to BMTC and will be provided with 675 more over the next few months.
The BMTC pays the drivers around Rs 41/km and each bus has to run a minimum of 200 km per day. The maintenance of the buses is done by the company and they are responsible for providing drivers for the buses.
The BMTC has 636 e-buses in its fleet, including 300 buses from Switch Mobility and 90 from JBM Auto Limited.
End of Article
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