September 8, 2009 at 11:00 am | Posted in Bangalore, BMTC | 25 Comments

Its been about 4.5 years since I landed in this city for first time. Like every city this city also has its plus and minus and it also has equal number of people on its love and hate list. You can find people endlessly compaining about various things and still will not settle in for any other city.

And all this holds true for all the metros of India. In the past 4.5 years I have also witnessed a quick transition of bangalore to a metro and ofcourse it started few years before I landed.
But this post is not about Bangalore. Its about a fact that I have been growing to admire in past 4 years.

Before I came here I worked in Delhi and used public transport there to commute. I always admired the well planned routes and frequency of buses there. Though I hated the way in which the buses were maintained. They just left it there. Ofcourse they migrated to CNG. But they never thought of upgrading the quality of service & the comfort of commuters. They never thought to attract the users of Maruti 800 and Toyota Innova to bus. They just assumed that it was not possible.

When I came to Bangalore, there was no need for me to use public transport. And if at all it was needed , I used autos which are found in ample in Bangalore. Bangalore probably has more autos than any other city in the world πŸ˜› I noticed those blue and white buses on the roads , in pathetic condition , overloaded all the time and I used to think , public transport is all the same all over India. Whats worse here was that I could not read a thing on the boards of the buses and they were so unusable for me even in emergency.

But BMTC worked on making me feel better :-D. They started the so called Red buses , the volvos. WOW..first time in India , Volvo’s for Intra city transfer. It was a dream of a sort. People thought they will be highly overpriced and BMTC won’t be able to sustain the costs if they reduce the fares and who will use them and that its impossible to change human habits etc etc. But They survived. Its been 3 years I guess. BMTC reduced the fares also and they are no longer overpriced. They came up with ideas of making bus stops in front of IT parks and increased frequency in peak hours and lots of people use them today.

When BMTC started the volvos to Bangalore International airport , then also people said no one will use it. But they tried and they are still trying.

These days you see new kind of buses every day on the road. You can spot some orange volvos and some blue ones and then the green BIG 10 buses and the colourful BIG CIRCLE on ring roads and today I spotted 2 bright blue buses and read about Atal Sarige service. I do not know what are all these services , perhaps they could have communicated about these better , but end of the day I can see people using them and thats what that matters. One can go Ga-Ga about their small steps and the other can keep improving slow and steady.

BMTC sure has proved that they are the most innovative public sector transport corporation of the country and no wonder they are the most profitable as well.

I never realized when I started prefering Volvos over the autos. And when I started using them I realized that though they have ample buses and frequency perhaps they need more work on proper route planning.

And somehow I felt like trusting them , they must be already working towards it.



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  1. Well said! I hd no problems commuting 17 kms while in Blr using the buses .. its almost next to impossible here! Just take ur gaadi out or take the auto!

    • And I am sure auto walas will be “chor” there as well , with meter running super fast ??

      • Everywhere the same story na 😦

        Yeah ..its all the same

  2. yup. I agree.

    I enjoy the flexibility and the frequency of buses now and sometimes, they are on time and yes, me too trusts the bus service nowdays here in Bangalore

    • Great isn’t it ?

  3. Thats so right.. I simply adore these red volvos.. Just a couple of months back, for a date with A, Me and Diya hopped on one of those buses and reached Cosmos mall… It was an experience in itself!

    • Wow. That was a sweet comment. Can almost imagine how that cute little ‘date’ played out…

      • Oh yes.. Diya made sure to interact with EVERY passenger on that bus (and I THOUGHT she was a shy girl!)

        HAHAH ..they never fail to surprise us ..NEVER

    • Wow Puja thats fun na ..I do that too..bunk office for 2 hours and go for date πŸ˜‰

      • Oh yes.. We used to do it very often (on Fridays) to catch movie shows πŸ˜‰ (Sigh …. THOSE were the days…)

        We do this when we feel need to chill without Aryan πŸ˜‰

  4. I have recently travelled by BMTC and found that it takes the same time as an auto and is more comfortable (if not travelling with a fidgety kid). I am yet to try the Volvos though.

    • Ohh..I dont usually use BMTC other than Volvos and the new buses . I feel scared to use the ones with boards in Kannada ..I know I can ask people , but then also I dont feel confident.

  5. Beautiful, absolutely positive post about one of the best things in Bangalore. Yes, they can definitely improve some of the interface (like boards in English and better route information), but there’s no denying BMTC dedication to making their buses succeed. Same goes for KSRTC.

    Even when *I* landed here, 5.5 years ago, I frequently used the buses. I was quite happy with their service and the fact that even if you couldn’t read the boards, Bangaloreans were friendly enough to guide you meticulously about the routes and inter-changes. The only reason I bought a bike was that the services became pathetic after 8PM. That allowed auto guys to literally rape your wallet.

    The buses have a MUCH better chance of improving Bangalore life than that overhyped Metro. I hope our Gods realize that fast and arm BMTC with more funds.

    Lovely post!!!

    • Thanks Vidooshak ! Like I said in earlier comment I never used the blue-white ones , for I did not feel confident. But the ones with digital display are just too good.

  6. They have blues buses also now?

    • Ohh Yes , seeing them for 2-3 days , I dont really know more details

  7. πŸ™‚

    i LOVE the buses to Airport. we take on our way to the airport! on our way back depends on how tired we are!

    and i used buses first 3 months in bangalore. i had no probs except the fact that such few buses go direct from point A to Point B! they have to change at majestic or shivaji nagar or market! grrrr!

    but yes, they are working hard! have you seen the Pink ladies Special Buses? very cool!

    • I have not used the buses to airport since we dont get them from near by and we usually have loads of luggage. This time though whenever we go , we plan to try them on way back

      PINK buses ..not yet seen them!

  8. tag done

  9. Great to know that the public transit system in Bangalore has developed for the better. Route planning generally follows the demand and I am sure BMTC will make regular updates as per usage and future development.

    • Yeah ..who can comment better on this post than you !
      Though the post is not driven by facts but just individual experience but a lot of people who read agreed.

      Yeah hopefully they would sooner or later.

  10. Thats a good insight on BMTC! And somehow I knew Swaram wud be the first to comment πŸ˜‰

    I have travelled through BMTC a few times… not the best experience though… having travelled through buses only in Abad, which were a shade better…

  11. […] 3, 2010 at 9:45 am | In Uncategorized | Leave a Comment Now , I did a post recently about how I have become a fan of BMTC over the past few years. I am happy to announce that they are still living up to my trust. They have […]

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