Connecting the dots

Many people are not very happy with the ongoing Metro Rail Project— firstly, because of the incessant delay in the starting of the project and secondly, due to the connectivity issues.

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While not much can be done about the former, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has planned to roll out 36 new feeder buses in order to increase connectivity around the Reach 1 area (from Byappanahalli to M G Road) of the Metro.

These silver buses with the pink Namma Metro symbol will connect various places to the different stations of Reach 1. When the Metro was expected to start during Ugadi, 72 feeder buses were introduced and used for regular operations.

But this time around, the authorities say they will start operating the buses only on the day the Metro starts or probably a day after. Metrolife finds out more about the different routes these buses will take and also how they will help people in and around the areas of Reach 1.

BMTC has already identified as many as 26 feeder routes near the six stations of Reach 1 for the benefit of the commuters.

There are five routes around Byappanahalli, MG Road, Indiranagar and four around Ulsoor, Trinity Circle, and Swamy Vivekananda Road. Each of these routes is within a six-kilometre radius.

The officials say that even though this is a very small stretch, the demand for these buses will be high because of the Metro. MP Prabhudas, BMTC Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) says, “We will gauge the demand for the first few days after which we can deploy about 60 to 70 feeder buses.”

The citizens, however, have a mixed reaction. Some say these buses will be beneficial while others feel they will work well only if everything is organised in the right manner.

Says Nilanjan Chowdhury, “The services are fine. But having additional buses on routes that are already equipped with a good number of Volvos and ordinary buses, is going to be a waste. It will also add to the traffic congestion.”

Others, like Alok Mohanty, are of the view that if feeder buses are introduced, other buses on these routes should be reduced to maintain a good balance.

Alok says, “Once the Metro starts, more people will resort to taking the Metro. Hence, the demand for regular buses will minimise.”

From the MG Road Station, the buses will connect points like Commercial Street, Cantonment Railway Station, Corporation Bus Stand, Brigade Road, Mallya Hospital, Residency Road and Lavelle Road.

Of the six Reach 1 stations, Byappanahalli and MG Road will be connected by the maximum number of buses. The feeder service will connect the CMH Road Station to points like the Leela Palace Bus Stand, Manipal Hospital, HAL Main Gate and Domlur.

The Byappanahalli Station will be linked to Ramamurthy Nagar, Jeevanbhima Nagar, Kodihalli and Kasturi Nagar, while the Trinity Circle Station will be connected to Garuda Mall, Lake Side Hospital (Ulsoor), Lifestyle (Ashok Nagar), Ashirvadam Circle (near Good Shepherd School) and Austin Town.

However, these routes are not finalised and are subject to change only once the operations start on Reach 1. Moreover, the BMTC officials say there may be some addition or deletion in the feeder routes based on the response given by the passengers.

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