BENGALURU: The bus strike caught many inter-state rail travellers, who landed in Bengaluru on Wednesday, unawares. Despite traffic cops being put on duty to regulate any kind of fleecing, the acute demand for app-based cabs and two-wheeler hire services forced many to wait for hours to go home, or come early, and wait at the station.
At Krantivira Sangolli railway station, Saraswathi, a Delhi resident, had waited for more than five hours after reaching here before she got a cab to go home. “My train reached the station at 12.45 pm and a few cops said that buses were not available. After 2 pm, I realised they would not run and decided to take an auto. But they were demanding between Rs 900 and Rs 1,500.” Saraswathi finally left the station at 6.15 pm in an Ola cab.
Jyothi Raju, her toddler and husband, reached the KSR station at noon despite their train to Chalakere scheduled for a 11 pm departure. “We knew about the bus strike and so decided to reach the station very early,” she said.
Meanwhile, with ridership on the Volvo buses to and from airport already seeing a huge dip, many flyers choose to use cabs or private vehicles. A BMTC official said, “We operated six private buses today to and from the airport, three regular buses and three mini-buses (almost like tempo travellers). Cabs were allowed to operate till the bus stands at both KIA and Kempegowda bus stands. There was an average ridership of 30 passengers on each regular bus.”
At Metro stations, despite queues spilling onto the streets, there appears to be no major shift in ridership. Executive Director (Operations) A S Shankar said, “During the first half of our operations, we saw some increase in numbers. However, during the day the ridership was similar to those on other days.”