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Railways and Metro in parking price war at Baiyappanahalli

Rasheed Kappan, Bengaluru, DH News Service, Jul 21 2017, 3:00 IST
The crowded parking lot of the South Western Railway in Baiyappanahalli. DH PHOTO

The crowded parking lot of the South Western Railway in Baiyappanahalli. DH PHOTO

The exponential growth of Namma Metro commuters has triggered an unprecedented competition in Baiyappanahalli: An intense price war to beckon motorcyclists and car drivers to the parking lots run by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) and the South Western Railway.

To beat competition from the old railway parking lot, the upcoming Metro slot has an introductory offer: Park a two-wheeler for the whole day at just Rs 15, a 50% discount on the rate charged by parking contractors in other Metro stations.

But a flex board hung from a table shows the parking fee as Rs 15 for the first four hours, Rs 5 for every one hour thereafter and Rs 30 for the entire day. The contractor, however, explained that it was just “for the record.”

The buzz around the new parking lot was even more inviting for potential parkers: Shopkeepers were heard telling motorcyclists that the space was available for free parking for the next one month. The contractor, however, dismissed this. The free offer was apparently an informal arrangement, fixed on a ‘case-to-case’ basis.

Hundreds of railway passengers bound for Whitefield, Hoodi, Malur and stations towards the city, park their vehicles at the old parking lot behind the Baiyappanahalli railway station. The completion of the Namma Metro first phase has sparked a big rise in the number of Metro commuters as well.

However, the railway parking lot contractor's joy at an anticipated jump in revenue was short-lived. For, the Metro opened a second parking space, less than 200 metres from the railway slot. This was reason enough for a cost-cutting spree.

The Metro parking lot on Railway parallel road behind the Baiyappanahalli railway station is still a work in progress. The space for two-wheelers has been levelled but cars are still parked on uneven ground. The new parking lots had to be readied in a hurry since the space near the Metro station’s Old Madras Road entrance had quickly saturated.

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