One of the most publisied initivates of the BMTC last year was the intoroduction of the Big10 routes. On some routes, it was just a renaming of the route number, but it was always useful since it was 'Branded Service'. People anywhere can easily identify a Big-10 bus easily and a lot of people realise the routes that these buses ply on.
Another branding attempt from BMTC has been the 'Big Circle', for buses that ply mainly on the Ring Road. I happened to see a K-series bus on Jayanagar 30th Cross and this has been on Praja before. Vajra, Vayu Vajra and Atal Saarige have also been some other 'branding' attempts by BMTC.
For the two bus days (Feb and March), BMTC had made arrangements to run feeder services in select areas. Some of these are permanent in nature and not restricted to only a day in a month. There have been other feeder services (FDR1 to FDR-6 for the Uttarahalli/Chikkalsandra/BSK areas being one of the earliest). Why cant these buses be branded in a common way?
At first, branding may only mean a distinctive/common painting style for them. Later, there are tonnes of possibilities. A separate section in the BMTC website,a special bus timetable/diary, Ticketing Concessions (wait till e-ticketing/smart card is introduced??), Separate fare setting mechanism etc.
Why Branding for feeder services?
- Branding helps people identify the bus from a distance. It generates some level of interest and curiosity amongst people when they see the buses in the vicinity of their home or office. Isnt the best means of publicity?
- It demonstrates some level of 'longer term commitment' to the concept of feeders and trunk routes. BMTC wont be painting buses in a standard way, unless they are interested in running such feeder services.
- This helps people (ordinary users) understand the difference between the normal 'hub' method of connecting to KBS/KRM/Shivajinagar and the concept of feeder buses. Otherwise, people tend to see them as 'yet-another-route'.
- If the 'Branded feeders' become popular/useful (which I believe can happen very soon in the core-Bangalore areas), it will be easy for us to switch-over from the hub system to the feeder-trunk-feeder system. Ofcouse, for that to happen, a lot of work has to be done on creating 'interchanges' close to existing junctions!
What do you think of branded feeders? If we can convince BMTC, this should take a long time to come into realisation!!