Currently, the only modes of commute to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) are by cabs, personal vehicle or BMTC’s Vayu Vajra buses. If the Airport management, the railways and state government activate a suburban rail plan with a halt station in the KIA premises, it might just be a game changer.
Here are a few Bengalureans expressing their views on the plan. Lead engineer Kalyan Chakravarty feels it would be a great solution. “”I am for this project. It will be good if it is implemented at the earliest. The transit time from the city to the airport now is a big problem. The flight which I take is just one hour but to reach the airport, it takes about 2-3 hours,” he says.
“The cab fare is about Rs 1,000. It is almost the same as the flight ticket,” says Chakravarty. “A suburban rail link will be of great use, especially for international flights as one has to reach the airport two hours prior to the departure.”
Cost and time are two bottlenecks in air travel. “People will not mind taking the train option. The only concern is how fast they can implement the project.” Those going on emergency travel will be greatly benefited. “If the train services are extended to IT hubs like Electronics City, it will be of great use,” he says.
Deekshith J, an IT security specialist, welcomes the project and says it will help reduce the number of vehicles on road and counter pollution and traffic. “This idea sounds really good. This is more efficient. I see many people taking the BMTC bus service but the train can accommodate many passengers at one go,” he opines.
For Puneeth Rao R, a senior engineer, the problem arises if people have to catch a night or an early morning flight. “If they run the train at these times, it will be of great help.” A suburban rail link will also help employees of companies located around the airport.
Another engineer, Arjun Urs, while welcoming the project, takes a different stand. “Many people travel will heavy luggage. If they are to change multiple commutes, it will be difficult. For some, it may be useful but for those with heavy luggage, taking their own vehicles would be better,” Urs explains.
He cautions that trains will have to maintain cleanliness, and security beefed up. If the coaches are air-conditioned, the tickets might get pricey, he adds.
Another IT professional, preferring anonymity, feels not many will opt for the train. His reason: Many corporate clients generally prefer a cab. “I think the bus is a better option as one can get down right inside the airport. There is no hassle of changing different commute modes,” he says.
For senior citizens, he says, bus is a better option as they do not need to take the overbridges present in many railway stations.
Travel enthusiast and test engineer, Poulomi Sarkar recalls her experience of almost missing a flight due to traffic. “I took a bus to reach the airport and almost missed my flight, my heart was in my mouth. All because of traffic...”
She welcomes the idea of a train connectivity. “They should definitely start running the trains. If I am going to Delhi, it takes three hours to reach Delhi, the same is the time I am taking to reach the airport! Time, energy and money. all are wasted.”
An apprehensive cab driver, who wished to remain anonymous, fears the number of passengers taking cab rides will reduce as the train is a cheaper mode of commute.