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Wanted: One card for Metro, buses in Bengaluru

Commuters in a fix as BMRCL, BMTC fail to find common ground to provide single smart card on the lines of Kerala

Published: 21st June 2017 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st June 2017 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

Poor frequency of buses during peak hours is an inconvenience to commuters. Also, BMTC operates a few feeder buses early in the morning and after 9pm although Metro runs services on Purple and Green lines from 5am to 11pm | pushkar v

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The lack of coordination between the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL)has put commuters in a tough spot, with last-mile connectivity remaining a major hassle.

In stark contrast to Kochi Metro Rail Limited’s ‘Kochi1’ card which can be used across varied modes of commute, including Metro trains, buses and ferries, Bengalureans travelling in Metro and buses have to use two different cards. With both transport agencies clueless, a common card doesn’t seem to be in sight.
BMTC claims that its plea to BMRCL to facilitate parking bays for its buses went unheard and instead Metro rail officials allowed rivals Ola and Uber to set up booking counters in most stations.

Also, digital display boards with departure timings of BMTC feeder buses at all Metro stations still stands delayed. While Namma Metro’s services on both Purple and Green Lines run between 5am and 11pm, BMTC operates only a few feeder buses during early morning hours and after 9pm.

The danger here is that if poor coordination between both agencies continues, it will not only defeat the purpose of the multi-crore metro project, but will also push commuters back to using private vehicles.
Many regular Metro commuters are unhappy because of the poor coordination between the two agencies. “BMTC instead of issuing its own smart card should have figured out on allowing the Namma Metro smart card working on buses (sic)” tweeted Thejaswi Udupa, a regular commuter.

While BMRCL has been issuing smart cards for passengers since 2011, BMTC smart cards would be available for all commuters only from October. There is no clarity about the launch of a common mobility card as both agencies are in contract with different agencies for the smart card.
Some commuters complain that frequency of feeder buses is poor. “There is no announcement system or display boards with timings of feeder buses at Metro stations. BMTC should provide a suggestion box in all Metro stations so that commuters can suggest new routes and give feedback on existing services,” said K Hemanth, a regular commuter at Baiyappanahalli Metro station.

BMTC officials said they operate 29 Metro feeder routes with 205 schedules and 3,142 trips to connect the major Metro stations of East-West (Byappanahalli to Nayandahalli) and North-South (Nagasandra-Yelachenahalli) corridors from different parts of the city at a frequency of 10-15 minutes.

BMTC officials said BMRCL has failed to provide bus bays or parking space for feeders services in most Metro stations. “How can they plan an infrastructure of more than `13,000 crore without even considering parking spaces for feeder buses? We have been requesting them to provide space in Metro stations like Baiyappanahalli and Trinity Circle but there has been no response so far,” said a senior BMTC official. However, BMRCL officials said they have parking lots for buses in stations where they have spaces.



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