With the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) airport buses being only half full most of the time, the transport corporation has planned a revamp of its services. This will not only improve the frequency of buses to the airport, but will also ensure that passengers do not have to wait for BIA services alone to get to the airport. To do this, the BMTC plans to make Mekhri Circle a ‘hub’ for airport buses.
Anjum Parvez, Managing Director of BMTC, said that BMTC has some land near the bus stops at Mekhri Circle.
“We will make this into an air-conditioned waiting lounge from where commuters can take buses to the airport,” he said.
The lounge at Mekhri Circle will have a cafeteria, toilets, seating facilities for at least 50 people and an information board displaying flight departure and arrival timings, he added.
Presently, the BMTC, in its fleet, has about 70 buses operating from nine locations in the city towards BIA.
All these buses cross Mekhri Circle from where it travels about 22 km to reach BIA. Most of the buses have a frequency of about 30 minutes.
“With a dedicated service from BIA to Mekhri Circle, the buses will be available at a frequency of about two minutes from Mekhri Circle,” said Parvez.
“Commuters will be able to take any Vajra bus to Mekhri Circle, from where BIA buses will take them to the airport,” he said.
While there will be one change over, Parvez said this is unlikely to be a problem as there will be a drastic reduction in travelling time.
“Even if a commuter misses a Vajra bus to Mekhri Circle or decides to travel by a taxi, they can still get off at Mekhri Circle and use BIA services and save on the distance from Mekhri Circle to BIA,” he said.
The revamp will mean increased frequency of buses, considering that along with the 70 BIA buses operating from nine locations, Vajra buses going towards Mekhri Circle can also be used.
The bus fare will remain the same.
“Soon, we will introduce electronic ticketing machines, the tenders for which are in the final stages. Once this is in place, a commuter only has to take one ticket to BIA and this will be valid even after the change over at Mekhri Circle,” he said.
The BMTC hopes that this will get more people to shift to the BMTC’s airport services instead of using a cab to get to the airport.
The MD claimed that there was no loss in the airport services.
“There was a huge potential in this sector. By improving our services, we hope to tap into this sector which continues to use taxis,” he said.