Posts Tagged ‘infrastructure’

Hop on the bus, Gus

July 3, 2009

Everybody hates Bangalore traffic. Gone are the days when Bangalore was known as the “Garden City” or “Pensioners’ Paradise”. The first thing that people from other cities ask me is “Is the Bangalore traffic really that bad?”. Well I hate to admit it, but it is!

Bangalore was never designed to handle the kind of traffic it does today and so the roads are not wide enough. But a large part of the problem is that Bangaloreans who can afford a car or a bike simply do not use public transp0rt. Compare that to Bombay, where executives in suits share the local trains with labourers in lungis.

A lot of blame lies with the public transportation system of the city. Until recently, the BMTC buses were unusable for the uninitiated or the brave. Buses that are designed to hold 40 people are packed with more than twice that number. Route information was written only in Kannada and timings were highly unreliable. However, things are beginning to change. The Volvo fleet introduced by the BMTC makes commuting on a bus much more comfortable. You get a comfortable ride in an AC bus with a great view of the city. I take a Volvo bus to work on most days and I enourage all of you to do so. It’s convenient, cheap and comfortable.

Even though the BMTC has done quite a bit, there is still a long way to go. Bus timings are still unreliable. The bus that I take to work (BIAS route 7) arrives anywhere between 9.00 and 9.20. I’ve resorted to calling up the bus conductor everyday to find out exactly when the bus will get there. The BMTC website is woefully inadequate. It is designed so badly it is almost unusable. Trying to find out information about the buses that ply on a particular route or timings of a particular bus are an ardous task. A more usable site which has such information is

The Namma Metro project seems to be chugging along quite nicely, with things seemingly on track. I read a newspaper article today that said that the government is planning a mono-rail project to supplement the metro. There is a high speed rail link coming up that will connect the Bengaluru International Airport with the city. This will supplement the BMTC’s airport bus service.

Things are looking up as far as the public transport infrastructure goes. Now comes the hard part – bringing about a change in mindset. All you guys who drive to work and back everyday, hop on the bus!