With the heavy traffic that is continuously pouring in and out of the City’s largest bus depots — the ones at Shanthinagar and Shivajinagar, as well as Kempegowda Bus Station, for instance — it’s no wonder that the situation in the immediately vicinity of these terminals is often chaotic.
According to statistics with the BMTC control room, approximately 3,000 buses pass through KBS on a daily basis. The depots at Shivajinagar and Shanthinagar experience a slightly lower volume of around 2,000 buses a day.
However, the infrastructure immediately surrounding these bus terminals doesn’t seem to be capable of coping with this load. Narrow, badly-maintained roads and poor traffic management intensify the problem, because of which vehicles tend to back up outside the bus stand and disrupt the flow of traffic two or three streets away as well. As Ranjit, a professional, points out, “The roads around these terminals aren’t fully developed — this is especially the case at the Shanthinagar Bus Station — and during peak hours, they turn into bottleneck areas. The situation at Shivajinagar Bus Station is similar.”
Several Bangaloreans feel that more attention should be paid to maintaining the roads around large bus depots. Karthik, a professional who frequents the Shivajinagar Bus Station, says, “Although there’s heavy traffic moving in and out of the depot, the roads around it are narrow and not maintained very well. Given that the traffic load isn’t going to lessen any time in the near future, I think the authorities should pay more attention to maintaining the infrastructure here. Ideally speaking, the roads should be widened as much as possible. Frequent tarring and ensuring that potholes are patched up will also help.”
Revamping the roads around bus depots might be an attractive solution, but most Bangaloreans admit that the chances of these roads being perfectly maintained at all times is bleak.
Ranjit feels that a little organisation will also help to ease the problem. “The exit and entry paths of the buses should be planned in such a way that traffic doesn’t accumulate. With more efficient traffic management, the situation can be bettered,” he observes. He isn’t the only one to harbour this view; Aishwarya, also a professional, notes, “Take a bus station like KBS — many passengers come here in their own vehicles, or in autorickshaws, to take buses to other towns. Unfortunately, there isn’t much clarity as to the directions to the front and back gates. Autorickshaw drivers crowd around the back gate, which adds to the traffic problem because buses can’t get out. The depot authorities can take little steps — like putting up boards with clear directions — to counter this issue.”
She feels that deploying more traffic policemen in the vicinity of large depots could help to an extent. “But buses that arrive late at night, from out of station, contribute hugely to this problem. And there won’t be any traffic policemen around at that time, would there?” she questions.
In addition to better organising the entry and exit paths of buses at these depots, it’s important to ensure that bus drivers stick to these arrangements. Indira, a homemaker, says that at the Kempegowda Bus Station, drivers often try to overtake each other, drop passengers off at the wrong bay or come to a halt at the
entrance of the depot, adding to congestion.
“It’s understandable that they are trying to minimise time through these tactics. But it’s tough for passengers to get onto the bus in an orderly fashion when the drivers don’t follow regulations. And of course, it causes a lot of traffic congestion both in and around the depot,” she