A year of acceleration for transport sector

The year 2012 has been a mixed bag of experiences for commuters in the City and State, in any mode of travelling.

The year marked the first anniversary of Namma Metro’s commercial operations along Reach 1 - between MG Road and Baiyyappanahalli stations.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) celebrated the occasion by felicitating several freedom fighters from different parts of the State, who also took their first ride on the train.

Going by the statistics, the Namma Metro received good response with 22,000 passengers using the facility on an average every day. By October, the total fare box revenue of Reach 1 service crossed Rs 12 crore and a total of 80,21,648
passengers had availed the service.

Even though the tunneling works along the underground corridors of Namma Metro gained pace during the year, elevated corridor works at selected junctions were held up due to various reasons. While a tussle with the Indian Railways delayed the elevated corridor work along Reach 3 (between Sampige Road and Yeshwantpur) for more than six months at Malleswaram, at some other points, land acquisition and legal hurdles posed problems for project implementation.

Even though the High Court recently cleared the blocks for shifting the Dr Ambedkar statue in front of Vidhana Soudha to facilitate underground work, the real action on the ground is yet to begin.

As a result, Bangaloreans have to wait for taking a ride on Namma Metro along other reaches.

Railways

The Bangalore City Railway Station became the first railway network to offer BluFi, a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi facilities in March this year. Later in the year, day train to Chennai with state-of-the-art facilities like live television and Internet facility was launched.

However, the question of railway safety surfaced again on May 22, when the Hubli-Bangalore Hampi Express met with an accident at Penukonda in Andhra Pradesh, killing 25 people and injuring more than 55. Even though seven railway staffers were suspended in connection with the accident, the safety at railway stations, basic infrastructure and problems with signalling continue to haunt train journeys in the State.

KSRTC/ BMTC

Karnataka State Road Transport Service (KSRTC) ushered in 2012 by releasing a Coffee Table Book as it completed 50 years of operations. The book gave glimpses of milestones, innovations and achievements of the Corporation in the past five decades.  

The Corporation also pressed the technology button many a times in the year by introducing state-of-the-art buses, including the one with live television with more than 60 channels for passengers in each seat. Airavata Bliss bus with kitchen - complete with  oven, refrigerator and coffee-maker, Airavatha Superia with chemical toilet have also been introduced during the year. However, the utility of the services is yet to be gauged since they are in pilot mode.

The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation came up with Asia’s first 14.5-metre -long city bus.

The bus, operating along the Outer Ring Road, has a capacity to carry more than 100 passengers. The bus services across the State were hit for almost four days after the KSRTC and BMTC staff went on a strike in September.

Intelligent system

A major step towards automation of transport services was the introduction of the nation’s first Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in Mysore, at a cost of Rs 20 crore. The ITS provides real time information on arrival and departure of buses and passenger information service through SMS and on the website.

The service is expected to reduce waiting time for passengers, reduce traffic congestion and improve efficiency of operations. However, the effectiveness of the service is yet to be analysed.

Milestones

May 2

KSRTC celebrates 50 years of its operations

May 22

Hubli-Bangalore Hampi Express met with an accident at Penukonda station in AP.

Oct 20

Namma Metro completes one year of commercial operations.

Nov 19

Intelligent Transport System introduced in Mysore

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