The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is all set to run the full length of its 18-km-long east-west corridor between Nayandahalli and Baiyappanahalli. The company is expecting half a million commuters every day as Namma Metro connects with Majestic, the nerve center of the city’s public transport.
The metro service on this stretch — likely to start by April — could now be a cause for worry for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), which currently monopolises the city’s transport system with its fleet of 6,400 buses.
The BMTC has also constituted a committee to look into the probable impact the metro operations may have on it. It felt that techies commuting to east Bangalore, to areas including Whitefield, would now prefer to take the metro instead of the bus as it was faster and more comfortable.
While city buses on the Vijayanagar-Baiyappanahalli route take over one hour (even one-and-a-half hours in peak traffic) on the stretch, metro would cover this distance in just 30 minutes.
The catch, however, was that because the metro did not connect till Whitefield, commuters still had to depend on buses, or other modes of transport, to reach their workplaces.
Finding an opportunity here, the BMTC has already decided to operate more feeder buses on this stretch.
“We are already in talks with the BMRCL to provide feeder service from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield. In the same alignment, we also feel that some people may start using the metro for short-distance commutes on this stretch too, say from Vijayanagar to Majestic bus-stand,” Caur said.
The BMTC, however, maintained that the metro operation will not be a threat. Instead, it believed the two services would complement each other.
The reason for this, said Caur, was that the people still depended on the BMTC for last-mile connectivity. “We believe that people who never used city buses earlier would now do so just to reach the metro station from home. We are also exploring new routes to connect residential areas with the stations. We are in talks with the BMRCL to provide feeder services based on demand,” she said.
The BMRCL is already doing trial runs on the underground stretch and has approached the railway safety commissioner for the necessary clearance.
In addition to connecting with Majestic, the metro will have 16 other stations, including Vidhana Soudha, MG Road, Indiranagar and Nayandahalli (an important junction on Mysore Road).
An official from the BMRCL said: “Two of the purple lines are already operational, and once it gets connected to Majestic, a lot of people would use the metro. We are not competing with city buses, but complement their service.”
Credits Bangalore Mirror