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BMTC service to BIAL - personal observation

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Public Transport

On Sunday evening, I thought I would observe the BMTC service to BIAL (called BIAS-Bangalore International Airport Service) from Trinity Circle. I had no intention of traveling to the airport, -I just wanted to know how reliable and convenient the buses were.

The website of BMTC had a list of buses and stops, however the exact location of the stop was not very clear.having lived here a quarter century, I knew where the bus stop was(in front of Taj hotel) but outsiders would have problems.

the bus stop is shared with normal city buses-pro or con I do not know.

There is a signboard near the bus stop with timings of the buses to Airport -both AC& not AC. When I reached, I saw one Vajra Vayu9AC volvo bus) pass and stop. Correct on schedule-good.

I then found a man and woman in a car looking for the bus stop to the airport. I directed them to the place, and we kept watching. According to the sign, the next bus was to come in 15 minutes. It was an non AC bus

After 15 minutes, a non AC bus did come, BUT DID NOT STOP. It just drove on, far away from the kerb and did not even look at my sign to stop. No problem, I told the waiting man, the next bus will come in another 15 mins.

After waiting half an hour, the there was no sign of a bus. The man's wife decided to drop him to the airport. In a few minutes, 2 Vovlos came almost back to back. what had apparently happened is that one got stuck in traffic, making it so late that it was almost time for the next one which happened to be in time.

Thus, despite being sufficient buses, there is still a deficiency in service. Remember, the real passenger I saw did not get a bus. he may NEVER use BMTC for airport services again, and that will be a tragedy as he will block the roads (with his car).

With a few MINOR fixes, all would be well:

1> All buses must stop all all designated bus stops. Instruct drivers suitably.

2>Improve website with exact locations of stops.Click on the stop anem to get directions.

Both the above will cost only a few thousands to do at most-less than 1 tank of bus fuel and much less than the fare collection of a single trip. But without it, we will increase the use of private transportation and create lots of jams.

Please convey the above to Mr Tripathy, those in contact with him.

PRIVATE PARTICIPATION

Please do not allow private operators to run buses. I have seen them drive rashly, break signals and care nothing for passengers/road users etc. This is not only limited to unorganized sector, but also to the organized sector such as KPN, Dugamba, sharma etc. Yesterday , during my observations, I sa a bus belonging to SRS Travels(vendors to all big IT cos like Infy, Wipro etc.) break a signal,swerve across the road cutting offf a 2 wheeler and make an un-authorized pickup from the BMTC bus stand. Thank God nobody was killed/hurt. in short, NO private buses EVER. NOT NOW, NOT NEVER

However, this kind of minor service glitch on the part of BMTC is not acceptable.Perhaps, BMTC does not understand the "higher end" customer, having catered to only the lower end customer till now.Maybe it can lease its vehicles(with driver) to a private operator who will provide a good customer interface which has:

  • Nice helpful website
  • Good advertising publicity
  • English speaking call center with polite operators
  • English speaking, polite conductor on all buses.

Let all fare revenue be split between the private operator and BMTC. Routes can be defined in advance, QoS worked out etc. Let a private company with hospitality experience take over for customer service.

this is similar to the PPP agreement made by Railways for Golden Chariot train-let everyone focus on core competency.

Comments

Naveen's picture

BMTC - BIAL Services

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Mr.Mathew - read yr post with interest.

For the buses to be on time on the dot every time, they have to operate on seperate lanes, without obstructions or hindrances by other traffic. It's a pity that they possibly lost a prospective customer due to the erratic nature of traffic, delaying buses & in this case, being unreliable & not dependable. This is why people resort to private vehicles since buses remain largely dependent on traffic conditions, & become unsatisfactory.

The bus stops & timings should be better marked - hope they learn this as they go along operating the service.

 

narayan82's picture

live timing

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I remember reading that BMTC would have boards with countdown timers to the arrival of the next bus. This is already implemented across other cities in the world. But then if traffic is such a problem as here, the countdown timer would loose track very easily. We really need a punctual, regular and comfortable public transport system.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
narayan82's picture

petrol the key factor

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If you read this article from rediff.com [click here], Petrol is probably going to be de-regularized which means we pay Rs.17 more per litre.

We may rue the fact, but then I think it will make a big difference to the usage of Public Transport. Deisel prices will only increase marginally so Public services will not be affected too much.

Such a move will keep atleast 30% of the two wheelers off the road,and also maybe 15-20% of the cars!

Instead of subziiding the cost of petrol, it would be worthwile to increase the public transport facilities across the country.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
mailabode's picture

I agree with you

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I fully agree with the views in your post below Mr Narayanan.
George E Matthew's picture

Thanks Naveen for your reply

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Thanks Naveen for your reply and starting another thread.

We are lucky to have a capable chiarman of BMTC who is willing to listen to the public. Let us make best use from this opportunity.

Dedicated bus lanes are not possbile as our roads are not wide enough and have too much traffic. Besides, private taxis also get stuck in jams and may come late-that is not the real problem.

Can we make the yelli idra system work? Where you can find the location by SMS? This will ensure that people do not get worried waiting for the bus and use private transport like the man above.

If not SMS, can we at least have an electronic dispaly board at each stop with expected time of arrival? Not too difficult, the display inside the bus already predicts this(although in some buses it does not work or shows wrong info as if the bus is going in wrong direction). the costs of this can be ad-sponsored.

A more extreme method of forcing people to use the bus: Include the bus fare as part of the UDF andmake bus ride to BIAL free for those with flight ticket. This will reduce the number of cars on the road to BIAL. However, this is unfair to passengers unless the bus service is really good as otherwise ppl will use cars anyway, and pay for a service that they do not use.

Traffic near bus stops is another problem. Cars dropping off people park near bus stops,e even if it is a no parking zone until the bus comes. Any solutions to this one? Fining by traffic police is not a good idea-it will antagonize people and make them not use the bus

 

blrsri's picture

park and ride

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If we are looking at getting more people using busses then we need to get 'park and ride' facility at strategic locations atleast..for example I need to get to the airport to drop someone, as described in the original post..all I should be doing is drive/ride to the nearest bus stand..park and ride the bus to BIA and back..

The last mile connectivity will be crucial to get people patronizing busses..

George E Matthew's picture

Park and Ride

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where is the place for this within the city?
bangalore-guy's picture

petrol vs diesel

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Hiking the rate of petrol would obviusly make a few people shift to public transport (I hope so). But the larger issue with that is that, post that scenario people will buy diesel based cars. Which will even more problems.

If the government thinks that diesel is a fuel of the farmers and for public transport, then why allow cars of all makes to launch their models in diesel aswell. Why not make it more difficult to own a diesel vehicle than it is to own a petrol vehicle or rather just palinly disallow manufacturing of cars with diesel engines.

What is the use of such a division among petrol and diesel if people run the most expensive of the cars (read mercedes ) on diesel and a poor guys with maruti 800's and two wheelers are unable to use his them because they cannot now afford the petrol. I see a big problem with the approach of the government with regards to allowing diesel vehicles to spread so rapidly in the country.

 

(PS: Sorry if this sounds slightly off topic) 

narayan82's picture

Blr Guy: petrol vs diesel & public transport

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Bangalore is the city with the maximum no. of two wheelers in India. This will change with petrol. We still have a long way to go before Diesel/CNG Two wheelers come out. You can't deny a man a Car. If he wants the car he must have it.The trick is not to deny him the car, but to make him use it intelligently. Provide him a good public transport system that saves him more time and money than the car, He will use it. The problem is also with the media, the cars are advised to be "cool" and the "in" thing, while public transport is often referred to in derogatory manners. If we can change this perception, it can be the biggest motivational factor. In fact we must encourage cars that run on alternative fuels. LNG/CNG, Hybrid...etc. And while we are at it, let us use alternative fuels for Public Transport too. I do not know why Bangalore has not gone in for CNG/LNG buses. Delhi had to change as their pollution levels were too high. Bangalore is almost getting there!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
bangalore-guy's picture

narayan : petrol vs diesel

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Narayan I completely agree that people should be encouraged to use the public transport but also be allowed to own cars.

I am not denying a man a car. I just want to see that he doesnt buy a diesel car. 

But the point I wanted to make is that the subsidised diesel is more being used by the new cars which come with diesel engines rather than by the public transport systems and the farmers. Which is not good. Because it is driving the prices of diesel up which makes public transport expensive and people end up buying diesel cars to be able to use the cheaper subsidised fuel so it is also not reducing the number of cars on the road which should as a result of the hike in petrol prices.

So, the govt needs to change the policy wrt the diesel vehicles. Either cars (atleast luxury cars) with diesel engines should be not allowed Or such cars should be levied with prohibitivly high taxes.

s_yajaman's picture

Increase excise on diesel cars

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Agree with bangalore-guy.  Increasing price of petrol will make people go for diesel cars.  It won't happen overnight - capacity limits, etc.  But it will happen unless government policy provides a disincentive.

The current excise rates of 16% or 24% on diesel cars needs to go up.  The primary reason that diesel is subsidized is to keep transport costs low for essential goods and not to enable an Audi/VW owner to fuel his/her car.

If they deregulate petrol, then they will need to increase the cost of diesel cars in some way.

If a person drives a car for about 12000km/year @ 10km/liter of diesel @ Rs.40/liter of diesel, he is being subsidized to the extent of about Rs.30,000 (based on the diesel subsidy of about Rs.23/liter).  If the life of a car is 10 years, the car needs to be penalized with an additional cost of Rs.300,000 either onetime or through an annual road tax.

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

On Time Bus Services Are Possible

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George,

On time bus services on dedicated bus lanes are possbile - click on the link below to see an earlier blog & view a presentation :

http://bangalore.praja.in/bangalore/blog/naveen/2008/05/16/dedicated-bus-lanes-presentation-bbmp

The yelli iddira service can at best help reduce traffic only to some extent since the bus service cannot still guarantee a time of arrival at the pickup point nor at the destination point. So, most would still opt to use their own vehicles as at least, they would feel more secure & 'in control', besides other advantages such as point to point transit.

As you mentioned, including the bus fare in the UDF is an extreme measure & might invite objections.

The problem of vehicles parked near bus stops can also be addressed with dedicated lanes. Bus stops will be in the middle of the road with pedestrian crossings & speed breakers to slow down approaching vehicles. In peak hours & at important points, bus stops need to be manned to facilitate pedestrian crossings.

Unless public transport cannot guarantee a safe & on-time arrival, skipping all traffic delays en-route, nothing will change. Train systems are hugely expensive & cause too much disruption during construction (such as the ongoing Metro construction). For this reason, they cannot be extensive & bus is the cheapest & best option.

 

silkboard's picture

Precisely Naveen

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Thats the whole point about BRTS - predictability of schedule, and higher end to end speeds relative to cars.

BMTC's BIAL service could be promising on two counts. 1) Since the buses come quickly enough to Hebbal, and the problems starts after that. So, dedicated lanes or preferential treatment for buses (basically any variant of BRTS) may now find quick supporters. 2) Many folk, who would have never taken anything other than a taxi/car to/from HAL airport, would get to use the bus. Hopefuly, instead of asking for that controversial expressway, they will prefer to pressurize BMTC on quality of its bus services.

Folks - it could very well be that 20 years from now, we will look back at BIAL, and say that it turned Bangalore around. No, not from aviation point of view, jury is still out on how they will do on that front. But, from de-congestion and forcing public transport solution point of view, I hope folks see that window of opportunity here.

Back to the topic, I think we might soon see demand for park & ride facilities near Hebbal flyover. Theme will be - I will come till this parking/drop facility, give me frequent busses from here.

Is there a TTMC planned in this area (near Hebbal flyover) ?

bangalore-guy's picture

Simple work around till BRTS arrives.

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There can be a simple work around on ORR and Bellary Road (till we get the BRT). BMTC buses should use the service roads at junctions and traffic signals and be given preference of using the service roads and allowed to pass before other vehicles (short stoppage time).

This will also help because the bus stops if made at the service roads will also be of a lot of help for the passengers. The challenge will be to keep unwanted vehicles off the service roads and that all the stretches dont have service roads.

kbsyed61's picture

Park & Ride centers in City also !

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SB and Naveen,

You stole my thoughts on park & ride. No issues.

Anyway I think the next step in "Connectivity" to BIA is implementing the "Park & Ride" facilities at more places in the city itself. I am hoping Vajra would then pick the passengers from such parking stations. Not an easy task but we have to find ways.

Syed

Naveen's picture

TTMCs at Hebbal & Int'l Airport

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SB - As per CTTP, there are TTMCs (Traffic & Transit Mgmnt Centres) planned at both Hebbal & at the Int'l Airport.

 

Vasanth's picture

BIAL type connectivity to other business centres

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I was just thinking of BIAL type of connectivity to main IT business functional areas like Electronic City, Whitefield, Koramangala and Bannerghatta Road.

Like BIAL services operate from different parts of the city, we need the same thing with Park & Ride in various TTMCs, or shared van pickup from home to TTMC or nearby feeder service till TTMC.

Mr Mathhew is bang on point that we need good 'interfacing' people for BMTC. We have to pickup in our agenda.

Second thing we learnt is that people love Volvo buses and not Suvarna Peak hour service bus from BIAL experience. This is the soft target to be used to drive the buses. We need Volvo like similar buses by other manufacturers like Tata/Leyland or foreign operators like Nissan/Mazda/Kinglong/Mercedes to put it out of monopoly from Volvo.

For the BIAL service, there is also a chance to experiment with customized A/C buses like KSRTC's Mayura which is Non-Volvo, but A/C and see the liking/disliking of the people. This comes at a much lower cost. This will be lesson for other places also. We have a POC site for deciding luxury buses for city transit based on BIAL experience. 

 

Mercedes Buses from 5 star hotels

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Having mercedes buses from 5 star hotels will reduce the need for more private cars and hence cause less jam. Perhaps BMTC could offer a mercedes service in a Joint Venture basis with leading 5-star hotels and IT companies.
Bengloorappa's picture

Buses from Star hotels

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If you look at BIAS route #3,#4 and #5 they collectively cover Taj Westend, The Oberoi, Grand Ashok,Leela Palace, Ramanashree comforts, Woodlands, Le Meridien etc.

I do not know if they actually go inside the hotel premises to pick up passengers or not. If they do, it will be a good thing because that means that the "well-heeled" passengers do not have to wait by the road side for a bus which potentially could be stuck in traffic and may arrive late.
This also means that they have incentives to avoid a costly limousine ride to the airport and we can rejoice about that long sedan keeping off NH-7 :)
narayan82's picture

BMTC busses on the Tarmac

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This comment has been moved here.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
murali772's picture

"Yelli Iddira?"

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Yes, "Yelli Iddira?" was a very useful tool. Strangely, even Mr Tripathy failed to see enough value in it. If the ridership on the onward journey (to the airport) has to improve, "Yelli Iddira?" is the best option they have.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

no to private - but then, a PPP !!!

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Dear Mr George Mathew

Is BMTC/ KSRTC any better as far as accident records go? Whatever, this is a policing matter, and they can be far more effective with private players than with union controlled BMTC/ KSRTC. May be you would like to read
http://bangalore.praja.in...

Further, even as on the one hand you say "No private buses, now or ever" (I trust that's what you meant), on the other, you are suggesting your own PPP model for BMTC. Is your case that the private players should provide good services, but should not make money? Whatever, BMTC/ Railways PPP models generally provide for ownership of the rolling stock by the private parties, which they operate on lease.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
George E Matthew's picture

A number of points have been

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A number of points have been raised, I shall take them up one by one 

ACCIDENTS & SAFETY

 I do not belive official statistics on this subject.There may be many cases where private buses failed RTO inspections and were involved in minor accidents and then bribed their way out. I have seen multiple instances of private buses breaking all kinds of traffic rules. As many owners are politically connected/realted to RTO officials etc. it is impossible to enforce any kind of rules on them.

Even if the organized sector takes over, this problem will continue. In fact, the larger the company, the greater its influence and the harder it is to regulate. It will have more money power.

BMTC on the other hand, will not do anythign illegal as an organization. Employees may berak rules, but they are relalively easy to catch and punish. I am seen the inspection squand fining drivers for leaving the door open multiple times. Note that these are REAL fines, not "fine without bill".

BMTC RECORD 

I have been a heavy user for the last 8 years, and even now it is my main means of transport. It is fairly reliable, but generally crowded and uncomfortable.Even in case of the clean, well maintained Volvo buses, the customer service element is missiIn other aspects, however, it is a good service. It has an image problem, as the elite do not wish to take it

Large number of  private companies charter BMTC buses for staff transport(including many IT cos). Most employees are quite happy with this arrangement, although they will NEVER use a public BMTC bus. This is because the customer service is through the transport department of the company, not directly with BMTC.

PPP 

BMTC should wet lease(meaning lease with driver) buses to a hospitality company whcih will provide the customer service for Airport travellers.

Customer  service includes:

1>Easy to understand website

2>Call center with polite operator

3>Polite, English speaking conductor. 

This will give the best of both worlds-safety and customer service.

The private operator  can easily make a profit, as it has very little capital investment.

 

 

 

George E Matthew's picture

Trips delayed by traffic

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I made another trial run today. As I have to catch a flight sometime in the future,I thought it best to try to see how long the bus ride took. I chose a Friday evening in order to see the possible worst case of traffic. This test was performed on the evening of Friay, 30th May 2008 AD.

BMTC Bangalore Airport Service(BIAS) buses are now running witha much lower frequency-Volvo once every hour, non AC every half hour. A sticker had been pasted on the signboard to this effect.

The Volvo was expected  at 6:30 pm in front of Taj Hotel. It came at EXACTLY 6:30 according to my wat. So far, so good. It was 30% full, and more people got on with luggage making it 50% full.

Trip till Misnk Square was uneventful.Reach Minsk Square at about 635-6:40pm . There was a huge traffic jam, and it took till 7:00pm to reach Cunningham Road. Cunningham Road was also choked. It took about 15 minutes to cover the half kilometer stretch to Chandrika Junction. Miller Road to Vasanthnagar-still choked. We got onto the road near Palace wich was terribly choked. The bus crawled. Traffic was stuck all around us. We were stuck for about half an hour when people started getting worried that they woudl miss their flights. Some wanted to get down and go by auto, but I warned them that ANY vehicle would get stuck in traffic and would not be able to move.It was nearing 8 now. The tension was building up. Fortunately, nobody lost their cool and sarted arguing with the driver/conductor-everyone realised that the jam was beyond their control.

In JC Nagar, near TV tower, and near Fun World, I saw that the pavement was very wide and had old trees on it. The traffic was stuck here for at least an hour. There was about 1.5 lanes in each direction, and certainly no space for a bus lane.One passenger was desparte, and the conductor gave him the CellCabs number,but he realised that it was pointless. Cell Cabs provided cars, not helicopters. Throughout the journey,we saw many Meru Cabs cars also stuck in the jam.

We did not reach Mekhri Circle untill 8:20 PM. The tension was building up. One person had already missed his flight. Another was "lucky" that his flight was delayed. One even joking suggested calling a bomb hoax to delay his flight.

Mekhri Circle was also jammed but we made faily good progress and reach Hebbal flyover in 10 mins. From then on, except for one signal, it was smooth running. The Volvo showed its true capacity for speed on the National Highway. In no time(actually about 15 mins-but the speed after the VERY long holdup made it seem that way) we were at the clover leaf where we had to turn into BIAL, and ina few mintues more we were in the Parking Bay of BIAL.Time 8:55PM. I helped one girl/lady to carry her bags to her flight-fortunately it was delayed and she got it.

BIAL looks nice to my untravelled layman's eyes. After Hebbal, it feels like you are in another world, with good roads, fast  and comfortable buses and a nice modern(again to my untrained eyes only) Airport .

As I could not enter the Airport , I only saw the parking lot and turned back.My objective was accomplished. I was able to find a restroom(toilet) with the help of a failry co-operative CISF person. It wsa still incomplete, but its cleanliness was passable. Not excellent, but passable. The nice large parking lot, tow truck, parking bays, cab bay etc. is far better than HAL or other small town Indian airport.

I boarded a bus back at 9:15PM. Driver/conductor were very helpful . There was another BMTC person there, directing people to correct bus. Also helped in loading luggage.

Bus left at 9:20PM, reached Ulsoor Adarsha threater(CMH Road junction) at 10:10 PM.

No traffic. Bus was 70% full. It even had one really rich looking(fancy brief case made of real leather, gold rings etc.) person on it, who complained that at Rs 1300 cabs were too costly. Good that more people are using the bus, especially the class who would otherwise  use cars/taxi.Condutor distributed Cell Cabs cards to all who wanted them.

BMTC is good, BIAL is ok. BUT WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT TRAFFIC? Private cabs cannot help-nothing short of a helicopter can. Road widening is one way out-even if it invovles cutting trees. The pollution that vehicles create stuck in traffic is a problem and if cutting a few trees is the price of solving it, so be it. We did have to cur 100s of trees for the airport, right? We must of course, plant saplings in their place and take care to maintain them.

Friday evening is one of the worst days as many people take flights outof Bangalore to their hometown. Also business travellers return home after doing business during the week. HAL Airport Road was also jammed for this reason.

Please note that this jam affects other road users who have NOTHING to do with the Airport. These people may never fly, but still get stuck in JAMS for hours.

Another solution is to build the subway from Minsk Square to Hebbal flyover. Let it be a private enterprise like BETL highway to Electronic City. Alternatively, can it be overground as an overhead flyover? I can pass over Cunningham Road and Millers Road instead of near Raj Bhavan if there are security concerns. 

 

 

tsubba's picture

beautiful post

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excellent post sir. a beautiful log of the happenings. i know of atleast one person who oracled on this happening. you will hear from him, i am sure. thanks.
surajshekar's picture

test post

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test post
surajshekar's picture

Something positive

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Great narration George Sir and one must really appreciate your patience. I could visualize the happenings by reading your post. Can u say that the volvo travel helped you conserve some energy for posting your experience on the same evening? If it did, it has served its purpose.

The last mile connectivity + lack of amenities at pick up points+ the traffic problem till hebbala are affecting the reliability of BMTC service (and of course air travellers' schedules) towards BIA.

People seem to be patronising BMTC quite well on the return journey from BIA. When I went thru my huge backlog of unread posts on 'Praja' regarding BIA connectivity, I understand that on day 1&2, passengers on vajra towards BIA were 2 or 3. One week down, it seems to touch atleast the 2 digit mark. Not bad! On the return journey, buses seem to have good occupancy right from day 1. Thats encouraging and will surely help BMTC with its image problem IFF it sustains the service level and builds on it further.

This indeed is a very crucial time since the first impression on the passengers is THE IMPRESSION. If BMTC can be flawless on aspects fully under its control, it will help them and our Bengaluru. By these "aspects", I mean- Courtesy towards passengers, Co-ordination of buses at BIA and pickup points (not messing up like KBS), timing information, route guidance, etc.... All this seems to be in place so far.

 

My only concern is whether they are happy with the "collection" ? Any inputs on that? I am sure that they'll be monitoring it closely. BMTCs "money-mindedness" should not affect this service or its quality.

They certainly have done some homework. They can further build up on it; pool in suggestions (from praja and 'on the spot' from passengers); act quickly and attract more people. Real time passengers can always give the best feedback/suggestions bcos they can easily spare 5-10 mins to fill up a feedback questionnaire inside the bus. I can imagine it to be something simple and purposeful like this-

================================================

Name of passenger, contact no-

Loacalite or an outsider?

Place, date and time of boarding-

Profession-

route no-

destination-

flying to/from which place?

1. Were u able to locate the bus stop/pickup point easily?

2. How did u get to the pickup point (if travelling towards BIA)? walk/auto/bike/car/BMTC bus/BMTC taxi/Other taxi/Other bus/Others(specify)

3. If BMTC taxi was used, was it punctual and the driver courteous?

4. Was the bus stop/terminal clean?

4. Happy with the amenities there? If not what is reqd?

4. Did the personnel guide u in to the right bus?

5. Did the bus start/arrive on time? If late, then by what margin?

6. Were the crew courteous?

7. Are the seats comfortable?

8. Happy with the entertainment inside the bus?

Any other suggestions-

 

Thanks for your valuable time. Assuring you of best service always,

BMTC

===============================================

Data collected by way of this can be used for a lot of analysis like-

1. What people like about the service and what it lacks

2. Depending on place of boarding, delays can be plotted and we can narrowdown to the most "unreliable" or problematic zones

3. Passenger density can be analyzed on the route at different intervals in the day and some rescheduling be done if reqd. ex: If most travellers from ITPL to BIA on friday evening are catching Delhi bound flights, then the buses can be planned from ITPL side, inline with the delhi flight timings

4. Assess what categories of people expect what?

5. Area wise Feeder services or the modes of last mile connectivity used. ex: People in Jayanagar may user auto while those in EC or ITPL may use taxi. So move some taxis towards the EC hub and ensure availability

many more like these.....


Two small suggestions from me-

1. Have a drinking water dispenser (25 ltr can with tap) and a tumbler inside the Vajras since routes are long and are susceptable to delays. It can be on a self-service basis. Ideally, this can be complementary(but not compulsory) as in Airavata. If commercials dont work out, keep half litre bottles and sell them on request.

2. Keep some newspapers, magazines (both kannada and english) for 'time pass'

I was waiting for a long time to post this. Trust it helps. It can be relocated by admin to a more relevant place if needed.

Cheers

Suraj

Naveen's picture

 George - BIAL Ride

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George - nice to hear the details of yr volvo ride to BIAL.

In theory, contrary to assumptions & observations, the need for separate bus lanes is higher when the existing road space appears insufficient to meet requirements. The higher the traffic volume is, the stronger is the need for bus lanes.

It may be a little difficult to understand & digest this since the load on the road takes centrestage, but this fact needs to be well understood before concluding that since the traffic is excessive, the road needs widening, or a flyover is required.

If the road is widened, the resulting invite for more people to use private vehicles will increase traffic & crowd the road even more. Other roads will also clog since the additional vehicles will use the rest of the network too. This is exactly what has been happening in the city. At the same time, a good, wide road is also necessary, where possible to ensure movement for those that are wanting to use it by meeting cost/s, which need to be increased (high parking fees, congestion pricing, etc).

The problem is that our citizens, the political system & the concerned agencies have not been up to the task in approaching this more scientifically, but have been going by the most visible & apparently urgent requirement, which invariably is to build a flyover or widen the road, or put up an elevated road to releive the congestion - this is temporary & actually worsens the situation within a few months.

If all such road widenings & flyovers had made provisions for bus lanes, we would never have been debating the time taken to reach BIAL now !

 

sanchitnis's picture

Making Vajra option better than taxis to airport

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64 users have liked.

Kudo's to George mathews for the effort and excellent observations.

 Now that we know which part of the service works well (return journeys from airport as well as onward journey beyond hebbal, I think it is time for some action to nudge corporate travellers to use this service. Can we form a small group which can coordinate with HR of all companies in Bangalore and though them ensure that at least 50% staff will use these services? I am sure that all companies will support this as it will help them to save additional costs.

IN addition to proactive marketing in companies, it will be nice if we can work with all stakeholders - BMTC, BIAL and various airlines to PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SOPs to compensate for extra trouble commuters will be taking. Here are some ideas:

* Provide priority in check-in as well as boarding for those who came by BMTC. This will ensure that there is no additional wait for check-in and those who come by taxis will wish they had used the bus and will remember it next time :-)

* Lounge access for waiting: As Bus commuters will have to start early and may reach early (due to the extra buffer needed), BMTC can have a costlier "Gold ticket" which includes cost of airport lounge. The lounge can provide free tea/coffee and snacks, free internet connectivity, free local/STD calls, massage chairs and entertainment. I think corporates will be happy to buy these gold tockets for their employees rather than paying for taxing and missed flights due to traffic snarls.

* Provide volune discount to companies with pre-paid tickets.

This forum has really enthusiastic people who care, have good contacts and have excellence innovative ideas. I do not think such facilities are available anywhere in the world. Let's make BIAL the first airport in the world with 50% commuters using public transport. The current problems are blessing in disguise and let's turn the problems to invest better public transport systems. Till the expressway is ready, the traffic is bound to become worse and there is really no alternative to public transport.

If you feel this makes sense and would like to contribute by actually driving this with all stakeholders, please mail me.

Sanjay Chitnis

sanjay.chitnis@gmail.com

 
narayan82's picture

Vajra+Airline

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61 users have liked.
Vajra passes should be available at the time of booking. Hence websites such as Cleartrip.com and makemytrip.com can have options where you can buy your bus ticket with the air ticket (www.viaworld.in does it now) The lounge area is a good one. Except BIAL is running short of space!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
George E Matthew's picture

Further analysis of BIAS

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67 users have liked.

Thanks everyone for your responses. No need to call me sir-I guess I am younger than most of you :)

The trafic was unusually bad on Friday as the chief minister was being sworn in. That accounted for the delay. Another factor was that Fridays are unusually busy days-saw that in Airport. 

Whatever the case, changes/reform/privatisation of bus services  cannot solve anything.  BMTC is not the main problem, traffic is the problem. Please keep that in mind during all discussions about this topic.

Mr Sanjay Chitnis has good suggestions that can be implemented. As some of them involve networking with corporates, it may be a good idea for the Praja team. 

To answer te questionaire of Mr Suraj Shekar:

Name of passenger, contact no-

Loacalite or an outsider?-Local

Place, date and time of boarding-Taj Hotel, 6:30PM

 
1. Were u able to locate the bus stop/pickup point easily?

Yes, but only because I am familiar with the area. Theere is a board with timings at the bus stop, but the directions on the website   are not too good. Needs improvement

2. How did u get to the pickup point (if travelling towards BIA)? walk/auto/bike/car/BMTC bus/BMTC taxi/Other taxi/Other bus/Others(specify).

On foot

3. If BMTC taxi was used, was it punctual and the driver courteous? N/A

4. Was the bus stop/terminal clean?

Roadside bus stop, pretty crowded.

4. Happy with the amenities there? If not what is reqd?

If you can have a separate bus stop for air travellers, with amenties, it wil be nice. Please charge money for that/hand over to private parties 

4. Did the personnel guide u in to the right bus?

There was only 1 bus with clear BIAS display-not relavent. At the airport return journey, the personnel were very helpful in finding bus, loaidng baggage etc. Way to go! 

5. Did the bus start/arrive on time? If late, then by what margin?

Bus started on time-reached late due to traffic. 

6. Were the crew courteous?

Yes. Many were able to converse with outsiders in English.

Please note my reasons for asking about English lanaugae speaking personnel. I fully suport Kannada, having grown up here I can speak the language easily. I belive that all long term residents must learn Kannada. I am insisting on English only because the airport by nature thas to handle foriegners/Indians from other states. 

7. Are the seats comfortable?

Were much so. Bus quite clean 

8. Happy with the entertainment inside the bus?

No video screen unlike normal Volvo. Please provide route map, posisiton on screen like other Volvos

 

 

surajshekar's picture

What is the arrangement at RGIA?

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70 users have liked.

This is just out of curiosity- What is the state of affairs on the transportation (specifically mass transport) front from Hyderabad city to RGIA? Probably the frequent fliers can share some experiences.

Is it better than Bengaluru? Is there something which BMTC or BBMP can emulate from them? How is the Hyderabad city bus serving the air travellers?

 

Suraj 

surajshekar's picture

Where do bus passengers alight at BIA?

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George, I couldnt make out where exactly are the passengers coming by bus to BIA dropped (Both Vajra and non Vajra)?

If they are dropped in the Volvo terminus, which I understand is about 200-300 metres away from the terminal building, then I reckon they deserve to be dropped much closer to the terminal

 

Thanks

Suraj

sanchitnis's picture

alighting for BIAS

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67 users have liked.

I fully agree that those using bus have full rights to be dropped at the closest point. Many airports around the world have this facility. Even pickups should be just outside the Arrival terminal. We can do a survey of some internaltional airports that provide this feature.

 

Sanjay Chitnis

 
narayan82's picture

BIAS at BIA Terminal

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See the attached picture. The terminal is about 100-150 meters away. (Photo courtesy Photoyogi)

 BIAS terminus

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

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