BENGALURU: With Namma Metro’s north-South corridor (Nagasandra to Yelachenahalli) set to become fully operational in a week, commuters are keeping their fingers crossed in the hope of congestion-free roads.
But the city traffic police don’t think so. The purple line connecting Baiyappanahalli in the east to Mysuru Road in the west has been operational since April 2016, but there is no significant reduction in traffic on Mysuru Road, they point out.
This is largely because of high parking fees (charges for full day parking of cars and two-wheelers are Rs 60 and Rs 30, respectively) at the Metro stations. According to a study conducted by the Bengaluru Traffic Police, most commuters feel that Metro fare plus parking fee works out to more than taking their own two-wheeler all the way to their destination.
The traffic police have recently requested BMRCL to reduce parking fees but Metro officials say it is not feasible. Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) R Hithendra said, “We have found that many commuters, particularly two-wheeler owners along Mysuru Road are not taking the Metro as they feel that the parking fee is high.”
BMRCL officials said they have a uniform parking fee at all Metro stations — Rs 30 (cars) and Rs 15 (two-wheelers) for the first four hours and Rs 10 and Rs 5, respectively for the subsequent hours. The monthly parking fees for cars and two-wheelers are Rs 1,555 and Rs 777, respectively. Parking fee for bicycles is Rs 1 per hour and Rs 10 per day).
A senior BMRCL official said, “Parking fee at Metro stations is cheaper than at shopping malls and airports. Commuters should use BMTC feeder buses instead of taking their vehicles to the stations. Reduction in parking fees will only increase traffic congestion as most of the commuters may reach the stations in their own vehicles”.
Many commuters urged BMRCL to reduce the parking fees at stations. An online petition has also been launched on change.org to reduce the fee.
“I have to spend on petrol from home to Mysuru Road station because of poor frequency of feeders buses. I also have to pay Rs 60 for two-way travel on the Metro up to Cubbon Park station. In addition to petrol cost and exorbitant ticket fare, they are charging Rs 777 as monthly parking fee. I cannot afford it,” said Aravind Kumar, a resident of Kengeri.