This is a year that users of Metro Rail are looking forward to with renewed interest. With the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) hoping to get some of its premium schemes under way, people feel that commuting will get a lot more easy for them. They feel that the congestion on the roads will reduce only after Metro is connected to most parts of the City. They also want the BMRCL authorities to stick to the deadline and work towards improving the facilities on Metro Rail.
Raghu Malamandi, a professional, informs that Metro Rail is the way forward to ease the traffic congestion in the City. “The high-speed and low-cost transit medium is a boon for commuters as it offers safe, comfortable and fast travel but the authorities have to concentrate on improving the facilities on Metro and hasten the work on most of its projects,” says Raghu who lives in Banashankari III stage . “People in South Bengaluru are eagerly waiting for Metro Rail to be operational. It has been delayed which is sad,” he adds.
Topping the BMRCL’s list is the integrated Metro travel card system that will allow commuters to use the same card to travel by Metro Rail and hop onto BMTC Metro feeder buses as well. The underground Metro connecting Majestic to the other parts of the City should also be open to the public by the end of 2015.
The BMRCL also has plans of integrating the ticketing system with BMTC but the official version is that it can happen only when BMTC has its own Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system because currently they have a paper-based ticketing system. “It is understood that they are in the process of introducing their own Automatic Fare collection system. Whenever it is introduced, BMRCL can integrate its ticketing system as BMRCL AFC system is designed to facilitate integration with other transit systems,” says Pradeep Singh Kharola, managing director, BMRCL. Another major highlight is the underground section of East-West corridor which comprises an 18-km-stretch from Byappanahalli to Nayandahalli junction, Mysore Road.
The work has been completed and the track laying is underway but people living in that part of the City wonder why the process has not gained momentum. Pradeep reasons, “Simultaneously, other works relating to tunnel ventilation system, traction (electrification), signalling and communication are being carried out. The East-West section will be completed in all respect by April-May after which testing will commence. Once the safety certificate is issued, the commercial operation of this section will commence. We expect the East-West corridor to be in commercial operation by August-September 2015.” Anju Rao, an IT professional, who stays beyond Mysore Road, says that she gets stuck in traffic for at least an hour everyday. “We hope the Metro Rail work gets done fast. It is not only better connectivity that people expect but better integration of the Metro Rail system. As a commuter, I must be able to get off the Metro and hop onto a bus which will take me close to my next destination. This facility is missing at the moment,” says Anju. When asked about the progress in the North-South Corridor, Pradeep reasons that it is the toughest portion.
The underground work has commenced and the tunneling will be completed by July-August. Praveen, an IT professional, sums up, “I am waiting for the day Metro Rail connects the whole City. We can then avoid travelling by cars and hop onto the Metro Rail. This will contribute to the reduction of congestion on the roads.”