You will soon be able to seamlessly commute by the Metro and BMTC buses across the City.
The BMRCL authorities have devised a card to do away with the multiple ticketing system.
Currently, people who use a BMRCL smart card, can use it only to travel on the Metro but this new system will allow them to use the same card to hop onto BMTC buses as well. The BMTC launched Metro feeder buses with much fanfare when ‘Namma Metro’ was launched for public use. The buses were supposed to be stationed at each of the six Metro stations. But today, the feeder buses are seen only on MG Road. All other stations of Phase I, including Byappanahalli, Indiranagar and Halasuru don’t have proper feeder bus services.
Pradeep Singh Kharola, managing director, BMRCL reasons, “We intend to realign the Metro feeder bus service to the Metro rail. We will soon introduce a smart card that will allow Metro commuters to use the same card for the feeder service as well. But this new card will be operational only after all the stations in Phase I are functional. The feeder bus service will be resumed soon. We are working on it.”
On the details of the new smart card system, Vasanth Rao, general manager, finance, taxation and resources BMRCL points out that tokens issued at Metro stations will soon be replaced by smart cards. “The smart card system makes sense only after the Phase I of Metro Rail is fully functional. This will make travelling cheaper.
Most BMTC feeder buses were running empty, therefore it had to be scrapped,” explains Vasanth Rao. “Currently, people travelling by the Metro get off at the nearest point to their workplace. So where is the question of taking a feeder bus?” he wonders.
Vasanth states that this integrated card system will first be introduced at the Metro station near Mantri Mall in Malleswaram and depending on the response, it will be introduced in other stations. “Those who travel from Peenya to Mantri Mall will be able to take a feeder bus to reach MG Road without having to change multiple buses and buy many tickets,” says Vasanth.
The management of BMTC is chalking out measures to reintroduce Metro feeder buses at all stations.
Ekroop Caur, managing director of BMTC, says that most BMTC feeder buses had to be scrapped because they were running empty. “The lack of demand for feeder buses is what prompted us to take them off from other Metro stations. We are working out a policy where in we can once again integrate BMTC feeder buses to Metro stations,” states Ekroop.
B Dayananda, additional commissioner of police (traffic) observes that there is no space near the stations for feeder buses to park and even private cars find it difficult to negotiate the traffic near the stations. “The overall accessibility to almost all the stations is limited.
For instance, there is no space for parking of feeder buses in front of Mantri Mall because the road is narrow. We have to come up with a solution to ease the congestion around Metro stations and provide easy accessibility,” explains Dayananda.
Commuters agree that getting across to other parts of the City after getting off a Metro train is indeed a challenge. Sujatha Rao, a homemaker, sums up, “There are no buses or autos from any of the Metro stations, so I end up walking a distance to catch an auto or a bus to travel to my destination. It is difficult.”