Namma Metro has chugged into the hearts of Bangaloreans over a short span of two years. When City Express spoke to citizens about their experiences, most of them reflected one sentiment: ‘The Metro has become a part of our lives.’
Namma Metro which began it's journey on October 20, 2011 after much delay, has now become a popular means of transport for many in the city. After years of causing commuting inconveniences and road blocks, it now offers people a faster and more comfortable means of transport than public buses and more accessibility than autos or other private vehicles, albeit to limited areas.
When planning a trip to Bangalore, one of the attractions for Rajeev Jeethani and his family from Ahmedabad was the Metro. “My wife has never travelled by the Metro,” he told City Express as they waited for a train at the M G Road station. “In Gujarat, metro work is supposed to begin in Gandhinagar only after two to three months. So we thought it was worth a trip to Bangalore for the experience,” he said.
A trip on the Metro seems to be quite popular among visitors to the city, whether from across the country or within the state. Azeezur Rahman from Davangere comes to Bangalore every few months, but this time as his nephew Aseem Basha is accompanying him, he decided to take his first Metro ride. “He’s studying to become a civil engineer, so I think it will benefit him academically too,” added Rahman.
While hopping on the Metro features on the ‘to do list’ for tourists in Bangalore, there are many who use the M G Road station, which is conveniently located at the heart of the city, as a rendezvous spot. Said Reenu John, a resident of Whitefield, “I’m here to meet a friend though I have never travelled by the Metro so far. Perhaps, had it’s reach been greater, I would,” she said.
Other Bangaloreans too told City Express that the service would be more extensively used were its connectivity better. “It’s just a few stops now, so I use it only occasionally if I need to go to Old Madras Road. If it were like the metro in Delhi, I would use it all the time,” said Ciara Greenwood, a student who lives in Whitefield.
Of course, there are the regulars for whom travelling on the Metro has become a part of their daily routine, whether to get to work or to go out to meet friends.
The Metro has made it easier for Mihir Dave, a resident of Indiranagar, to commute to work. “It used to take me 50 minutes on my bike to get from home to M G Road, where my office is,” said the sales manager. “Now, I can cover 5 kms in 8 minutes. Plus, it cuts out the strain of driving through traffic jams and the pollution.”
For Sheela, a homemaker who stays in Bayappanahalli, the Metro has brought M G Road closer to home. “I find that I come this side of town (M G Road) more often now that the Metro is here,” she said. She further added that she finds it a very convenient mode of transport as she drives to the Bayappanahalli station, parks her car there and takes the train. “So even if it’s late when I get back, I don’t have to worry about transport to reach home.”