Government of Karnataka planned for Bangalore Metro 11 years back, way back in 2003 and the actual work started only in late 2007. Bangaloreans could get first ride of Meto in late 2011, after 4 years of start of project for only 7kms. Second stretch of Reach 3 covering 11kms was opened after 2.5 years in March 2014.
Underground stretch is causing the delay of entire Metro project of Phase 1. Again, the breakdown of TBM Godavari, and slow moving pace of TBM Krishna and Kaveri is delaying the North-South line although East West line tunnelling is done. Entire phase 1 is expected to complete only by mid 2016. Jayanagar could see Metro running only in mid 2016 unless reach 4 could partly be opened between National college circle and Konankunte cross on Kanakapura Road. Phase 2 extension if it is waited until phase 1 is completed, it might finish only in 2025. Unlike Delhi, where aleady nearly 300kms of Metro is operational, Bangalore Metro work is not working in that pace.
BMRCL is also not utilizing its operational metro to its full potential by working with BMTC such as linking Reach 1 and Reach 3, connecting Byappanahalli to ITPL with buses.
Meanwhile Growth Rate of population of Bangalore is 47% between 2001-2014, thanks to lucerative jobs attracting population across country to Bangalore. GoK is not thinking of distributing this high growth of population to suburbs, rather concentrating only on Bangalore. How much can Bangalore scale up?
Government of Karnataka is only working on Metro to ease traffic woes along with few new flyovers in long waiting junctions. With Praja, BMTC had few bus days to attract more and more personal vehicle takers to buses in 2009-2010 which was highly successful and people started using BMTC especially Volvos. But BMTC became completely profit oriented looting people later on. Those bus days which attracted Bangaloreans to buses were used for profit making. BMTC started lending Volvo buses to private companies during peak hours when there is high demand. Also BMTC started maintaining Volvos on its own leading to frequent failures.
Again high cost, less frequency, unable to track and frequent failure of buses moved people back to their own vehicles, now with increased population.
In other words, Bangalore is lacking effective public transportation with high cost BMTC and non useful Metro. People have to depend on company shuttles or on their own vehicles.
CTTP report of 2007 suggested mono, commuter rail, BRTS along with Metro, Gok is not working on other modes of transportation.
In Ahmedabad,75 kms of BRTS was done in a span of 3 years, Mumbai Mono was done in a span of 3 years. Commuter Rail could be done with a push from GoK and Railways in a span of 2 years.
GoK should first plan to build quality suburbs around Bangalore. Cities like Chikkaballapur, Doddaballapur, Bidadi, Ramnagaram, Tumkur, Mandya, Sarjapur, Magadi,Hoskote should be improved by developing good layouts, schools, hospitals in these cities. Good connectivity to Bangalore using Suburban Rail and Road so that people can come to Bangalore for work and travel back to those towns. Wherever possible, Suburban Rail should be used, places where rail network is not available like Magadi, Sarjapur, Hoskote etc, good highways can be developed along with a Bus Rapid Transit System. Suburban railway can be used to travel to congested places like Whitefield.
Within core Bangalore, the planned Monorail / Light Rail on a PPP model should be developed fast like the Mumbai Monorail so that people can best utilize the Metro with good feeder.
BRTS along wide oneway roads as well as ring roads and highways should be planned and implemented fast. BRTS between Attibele to BIAL via Hosur Road, Silkboard - Hebbal and Bellary Road could be easily done for faster BIAL access, IT areas access in Electronic City and Outer Ring Road.
Basic bussing by BMTC needs to be further improved by cancelling outsourcing to private companies like ORRCA, Manyata Tech Park etc so that buses are available for public use during peak hours. Ticketing should be reasonable for the people to afford.
We also need a single transport authority like London, Newyork etc so that there is better integration among various modes.
Let GoK get other things ready before Phase 1 Metro.