Last mile connectivity: A major challenge for commuters

Last mile connectivity: A major challenge for commuters

Passengers are seen at the KSR City Railway station, in Bengaluru. Photo/ B H Shivakumar

Last mile connectivity continues to be a major challenge for train commuters at most railway stations in the city.

All stations in West Bengaluru witness congestion due to heavy movement of trains between Bengaluru and Mysuru. Stations in West Bengaluru include Nayandalli, Kengeri, Jnanabharati and Krishnadevaraya.

Though Attiguppe, BCC Layout, Chandra Layout, RPC Layout and satellite bus stand are close to Krishnadevaraya station, passengers are forced to shell out more money to reach their destinations. As the BMTC has failed to ensure proper connectivity, the train commuters are forced to spend hours waiting.

Mahananda, who stays close to Kengeri railway station says the autorickshaw drivers cash in on the absence of effective connectivity. “These drivers virtually extort money from passengers. Unsuspecting passengers who land at the station are easy prey for them. The station is remotely located with no last mile connectivity to any of the areas nearby,” he explains.

Many commuters say the BMTC hardly provides any service, and this deters people from using the local train services.

Though Jnanabharthi station is centrally situated, passengers continue to face the challenge of connectivity. The biggest challenge is the schedule as buses in the nearby shelters fail to follow proper timings.

“What we need at Krishnadevaraya station is a prepaid autorickshaw counter. This will help residents of Vijayanagar, Girinagar, Avalahalli, Chandra Layout and RPC Layout,” Ramakrishna N, an auditor from Attiguppe points out.

He adds: “The train commuters face hardships due to lack of connectivity. There are no BMTC buses from the station. Connectivity to Satellite Bus stand and nearest metro stations continues to haunt passengers.”

Raghuram, who frequently commutes between Bengaluru and Hubballi, says that Malleswaram station is strategically located without proper feeder service. “The nerest bus stand is over one and half kilometres away from the station. Feeder service from Malleswaram to the nearest busy locations and metro stations would help commuters,” he suggests.

Passengers point out how lack of feeder buses to Manyata Tech Park from Hebbal railway station affects them. “Two things are certain. One is, waiting period for vehicles. Second, spending more time for private vehicles or autorickshaws,” says one of the frequent train commuters. The situation is mostly similar at Lottegollahalli.

It gets even worse in East Bengaluru, particularly at the Whitefield and Carmelaram stations.

Getting to Whitefield railway station is a nightmare for commuters as there is only one entrance on the Northern side. Commuters heading from the South should choose between climbing the boundary wall or cross the railway tracks to reach the main entrance in the North. The situation has remained the same for some years now. The railway authorities are yet to act.

The railway station, which sees approximately 30 local and express trains a day, is used by thousands every day. The foot over bridge is not only narrow but has no access to the Northern side of the platform.

This forces commuters coming from the Southern side to walk two kilometres on the road around the station to reach the entrance in the North and then the platform.

Sharada M, a regular commuter, has this to say: “The foot over bridge doesn’t help us in anyway as the direct path to the Northern platform is blocked. Even if we use the over bridge, we have to walk two kilometres to reach the entrance in North. So, many ladies are forced to climb walls because of this, even wearing a sari.”

The train commuters should walk at least half a kilometre from Carmelaram station to reach the bus stop, to hit Sarjapura or KR market sides. “I see a lot of labourers coming with heavy luggage on their heads. It is so pitiable to see old people walk with luggage. There are not even autos to facilitate these people from the station,” says Bhuvana Reddy, a resident of Carmelaram.