Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bengaluru: In the Wrong Lane

This article probably needs some attention. Because the big authors who travel in cars probably won't be able to see this issue that closely as the average guy on the bus would. Therefore I, a guy who travels to and from office on a bus, decided to write about the small changes being made. Changes that become a loud message as they hit tens of thousands of citizens everyday.

While Bengaluru is desperately waiting for Namma Metro to get into work mode from its present tourist mode, the traffic is not in a mood to wait, and is increasing every day. The number of cars is going up by thousands every month. And while there should be encouragement for public transport users and cyclists in order to not just keep the traffic smooth but help save the environment as well, we seem to be making traffic rules for cars instead. It seems we're forgetting that cars can hardly be the lifeline of a city, even if it's the CEO-city of Bangalore.

Let's talk about the buses in Bangalore. The bus services in the city is in general good, and with a few new buses launched every year, things are not in a very bad shape at least. But other than that, the convenience of a bus taker is a different matter altogether, and depends a lot on the wishes or whims of the drivers and conductors.

First of all, even though there are a lot of buses on the 'popular' routes, a little less popular routes seem to get not enough attention from the BMTC officials, and then bus conductors/drivers as well who may decide not to go on a route if they don't so wish. In fact this is not limited to unpopular roads as I can tell I've never seen a bus going from my home (that is the bustling Whitefield bus stop) to my office on Outer Ring Road, near KR Puram. That is irrespective of the fact that I have caught bus 504A from Whitefield, which should take me to my office.

On top of that, in almost every place, bus stops have been shifted or are being shifted ahead of their earlier locations. This creates inconvenience for those who need to change buses as one needs to walk hundred to three hundred meters extra on an average. Such things definitely discourage any people who think of taking a bus, especially at times when one is in a hurry to reach the office or back home.

Talking of another environment friendly option, i.e. cycling, there are very few cycling tracks for the cyclists, and travelling with all the cars and bikes and superbikes in every nook and corner of the city, things are getting unsafe for cyclists. But that is not all. We now have longer U turns and signal free corridors, which make path much longer, creating unnecessary load for cyclists. In such a situation, even proud cyclists are forced to rethink over their commuting options, leave aside a person who might be still thinking of getting a environment-friendly bike.

So while it's good to give space to cars to travel smoothly, it sends a wrong signal to the city when they get priority over public transport and environment friendly commuters. This discouragement to the latter two, even if looking like creating minimal problems, will in turn force more private vehicles on the road, making this a vicious circle which would harm us even more in longer term. We need to get our priorities right. Right now.


  1. Have you tried walking?? Its like temple run in real life :D

  2. I walk, but I've not played temple run. :)