BMTC to pay drivers incentive to ensure better mileage

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BANGALORE, November 10:  The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) intends to adopt a two-pronged approach to make its drivers save fuel — one by paying cash incentive to those who achieve mileage above the benchmarked level and the other by penalising those who do not yield to this cash incentive.

These are some of the steps being adopted by the BMTC to minimise fuel consumption, thereby reducing operational cost.

As mileage is subject to several conditions, including condition of the road, traffic, condition of the vehicle, etc., the corporation is in the process of setting the benchmark for each of the routes for different times of the day. Once the minimum benchmarking is done, it will ask drivers to achieve levels above the benchmark. Then, it plans to share the benefits of such savings by paying cash incentive to the drivers, said BMTC Managing Director Anjum Parvez.

The corporation also plans to install driving simulators, developed by Hanif, a retired driver of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, in one depot each of its five divisions.

The machines will help educate drivers on how to drive to achieve maximum mileage. Drivers can learn slower acceleration and deceleration; avoiding wasteful idling of engine at traffic signals; proper gear shifting, etc., which help improve vehicle performance, Mr. Parvez told The Hindu.

Driving pattern

At the same time, the corporation has decided to monitor the driving pattern using a special device. Five such devices, akin to black boxes in aircrafts, have been fitted in buses through which the driving pattern can be mapped. Drivers, who do not adopt healthy driving practices even after advice based on the output of these machines, might be penalised after several warnings, Mr. Parvez said.

According to him, even the global position system-based intelligent transport system, which the BMTC is installing on its buses, will help the corporation study the driving pattern and issue suitable advice to drivers to improve their skills.

Besides planning to experiment with battery-operated buses and hybrid buses, which are yet to be made available to the BMTC, the corporation is going ahead with introducing “midi” buses. Midi buses, with a length of 9.4 m as against the conventional 12 m or 14 m, and with a normal width of 2.5 m, are likely to be deployed mainly on feeder routes.

Initially, 150 such buses are being procured and the numbers would be increased so that they could be put to use during the general shift operations, Mr. Parvez said.

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