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Rail Vajra, anyone?


After the recent success of the Vayu Vajras, isn't it time for BMTC to look into providing similar services for a larger segment - the rail travellers?

The two largest railway stations in the city- Bangalore City and Yesvantpur - together handle about 25 long-distance trains daily, comprising about 40,000 passengers. In the absence of any dedicated bus service or other efficient public transport to these locations, long queues can be seen at the prepaid auto and taxi stands outside the stations everytime a train comes in. And those who are in a hurry have to fork out more to autodrivers outside the station. Similar experiences are faced by those leaving home to get to the station.

Here's where BMTC comes in. They could operate a dedicated fleet of Volvos, a la Vayu Vajra, to and fro Bangalore City and Yesvantpur Railway stations. The bus models could be like the VV's, with luggage racks etc. As the railway stations are considerably closer tahn the airport,the fare should be corespondingly lower. Since this will target people using autos and taxis to get home, I would suggest 'flat fares' of Rs. 30/40/50/60 (depending on the distance).

As a trial measure, BMTC could start this service on a few routes (from Bangalore City to JP Nagar/BTM/HSR/Whitefield/Kalyananagar/Mahalakshmi Layout/Kengeri; and from Yesvantpur to JP Nagar/BTM/HSR/Whitefield/Kalyananagar/Vijayanagar/RR Nagar). Like the VV's, these should start from dedicated bus bays (I would suggest outside the rear entrance of City, and the NH-4 entrance of Yesvantpur), where platforms and shelters should be made available, along with a short (~100m) passageway from the station entrance to the busbays. All the construction would be done on SWR's land.

I'm sure there would be quite a few passengers who would prefer getting to the railway station in this way, if the bus timimgs were synchronised with train schedules. However, route planning would have to be done carefully, and the entire exercise would have to be well-publicised, like the HOHO/BIG10 services. What say, folks?

A word of caution : this exercise hinges on cooperation between SWR, BMTC and BTP. Given that's something our civic agencies have not exactly been good at, let's keep our fingers crossed on this one. Regards,
kbsyed61's picture

Nice proposal,


 Very good proposal. Try writing to ABIDE and BMTC and see how they respond, if they. Actually they need not operate special service. They can just extend the existing routes.

 I have another suggestion. How about shuttle service to nearest major bus station? like Shivajinagar, KG Bus station, KR Market, Yeshwantpur, Mysore Raod etc.


sudheendra.karri's picture

Good suggestion Rail Vajra

Manish, That's a real good proposal to extend the existing Vaju Vajra services to offer services to rail commuters too. And the figures as mentioned of close to 40,000 commuters per day is remarkably good to convince the authorities of revenue generation related concerns if any :) Sudheendra
ravishankar's picture

Nice idea

Manish, Rail vajra is a very good idea you have brought up.

Few years back BMTC had started off with several buses starting from City Railway station to many parts of bangalore. There were several buses with new route number added to their fleet but I didn't see that working more than a month.

As far as my observation there was no integration of train arrivals with the bus fleets. Slowly these buses got converted to their origin to majestic. I hope Rail vajra don't end up the same way.
Vasanth's picture

Excellent Idea

It is a good idea Manish. Walking between KBS and SBC is horrible.  It need not be dedicated like Vayu vajra. Even ordinary passengers should also be able to board and get down in between. Even ordinary parisaravahini should also be run along with Vajras seeing the economical condition of train passengers who travel unlike air passengers who need only Vajra. This is very helpful for those who commute daily say from Channapatna, Tumkur to Bangalore for work.

I sent a mail to CTMO bmtc regarding starting shuttle services between KBS and SBC, but came to know railways is opposing it and not allowing BMTC buses to enter railway station.

I earlier has posted about Metro Vajra for connecting Metro stations to surrounding areas.





narayan82's picture

Existing Busses Can do...

Giving Vajra style connectivity to the station is a very good idea. But I do not think it is required to have a seperate service to the station. I see two alternatives:

  1. Extend the existing Vajra services from KBS Bus stand to City Station. Hence they will serve both.
  2. Have a low floor hi capacity A/c shuttle between the Vajra Stops at the busstand to the city station

One thing that we have learnt from Vaayu Vajra is that a dedicated service to only 1 destination isnt very practical. Even now, after allowing commuters to use VV till hebbal, we see the busses going at about a 65% Occupancy.

We have to have some kind of clear indication as to how a commuter exiting the station finds these busses. Else the Taxi Drivers and Auto Drivers will bug you to the point of using thier services as opposed to the bus. Whilst in BIAL - this is less happening, it seems to work.

Regulating the options presently available at the station itself will do us a great help. We could allow AUTOS ONLY to go through the pre-paid stand. Taxis too could follow. Increasing the parking charges for private cars. This way people will start looking around for a few options instead of being mobbed by a monoply.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
silkboard's picture

Who said Railways is opposing it?

I have 'heard' from the sources ("on the condition of anonymity") that at least in the case of City and Shivaji Nagar stations, the buses are not allowed to go inside by the autorickshaw union.

  • No bus goes inside city railway station, leaving it to us to walk down and back up through that dirty underpass
  • Some Buses go to Shivaji Nagar station, but only in the night
  • Not sure about YEsvantpur, but I have not seen any buses come near the station, there is a stand on Tumkur Road from where you can walk up, and its not a small distance to cover.

If BMTC said that Railways is opposing it, let us go talk to South Western Railways and see if their reply matches what BMTC said.

narayan82's picture

Railways is crippled

I can get it now.Most of the apathy from the SWR's POV is not really their fault its more liket hey are compelled to be non-pro-active!

The bus unions seem to have gotten a grip on SWR's say, the Auto Union seems to have an equal strong hold, the lorry drivers union I am sure has its own quibs and quarrels! No way, are we going to see ANY development as long as these lobbies have a say.

I dont think its feasilble to disolve these lobbies they have grown too big. We have to look at re-development packages. We have to find a way to provide a bus service and give the Auto richshaw drivers and alternative job. thats the only way things will change!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Vasanth's picture

Re: Who said Railways is opposing it?

I got an email reply from CTMO, BMTC. They asked me to co-ordinate with railways. I wrote an email to railways, but I didn't hearback anything even after repeated followups.

This is my email and reply from CTMO:


Mr. Vasanth R

This issue has been highlighted and discussed in our meetings and several interactions. However, BMTC is eager but it requires permission by railways to allow the entry of busses and providing proper space. Infact we have also represented this to Railways and once again in the interactions we arranged this was also mentioned. Therefore, ti is for railways to initiate proper action and not BMTC.

Kindly write to the Divisional Railway Manager (South Western Railway) or better still is to meet him and discuss the matter so that Citizens are benefitted. We are fully with you. The DRM is Mr.Mahesh Mangal and he has just assumed charge. The office is siutated next to the city railway station itself. All senior officials of SWR are also available there.

Wish you all the best.

With warm regards

Somasekhar V.K
Managing Trustee: Grahak Shakti
Co-Chairperson: BMTC Commuter Advisory & facilitation Committee and Member Commuter Comfort Task Force.


On 8 Jan 2007 05:49:31 -0000, Vasanth R wrote:
Dear Sir,

From Bangalore City Station, it is very difficult for the aged and the disabled to reach BMTC main bus stand after walking a lot in the station compound, to travel through underground, again go over the bridge in BMTC bus stand and get down to finally reach the bus stand of your locality. Autos are very expensive and prepaid counters are doing daylight fraud with too expensive rates more than metered rate.

My suggestion is to kindly start a shuttle service using 2-4 swaraj mazdas from railway station campus to bmtc bus stand with nominal fees of 3 rupees at regular intervals. After reaching the bus-stand we can easily go to our platform and catch the bus. There are megaplans to ease down this in BMTC's plan. For the time being, this would be very easy and cost effective. It would be very good, if two more swaraj mazda service is started from Old (madras gate) too.

Auto drivers and taxi drivers have been dictators in Railway Station Campus. Please break this.




Naveen's picture

Rail Vajras Really required ?

Hi All,

Though this is an excellent thought, I feel that dedicated Railway station Vajra services might not really be required from City Railway Station & Yeshwantapur due to developments already in the 'pipeline', etc. as follows :

1) Namma Metro (E-W route), when commenced will have a stop at Railway station on the western side (Magadi road) & will be easy to access by rail passengers.

2) Namma Metro (N-S route), when commenced will have a stop at Yeswantapur Railway station, & will be easy to access by rail passengers. A TTMC is also planned at Yeswantapur.

3) At City Railway Station, the distance to Bus station is walkable, though not with heavy luggage. Some of the existing services operating out from City Bus Station could be routed past the station with a halt, preferably within the station (at the main entrance on east side) for facilitating rail passenger pick-ups for those arriving by trains. Buses leave the Bus station & proceed close past the station, so this inclusion should not pose too much of a hurdle. There is plenty of open space within the boundaries of the railway terminal bldg, now dominated by parked autos & taxis, & a part of this can easily be set aside for bus stops with shelters, similar to airport. A way has to be found for drop offs - the route/s into City Bus station must be altered to go past the station.

Of course, the Metro has to be operational for all this, but it will happen surely sometime in the future. I think we should work on point no.3 above to get some existing bus services to the doorstep of the city railway station.

For the isolated Cantonment station, some dedicated services will be necessary as the situation is bleak for passengers & dependence on autos is excessive. A shuttle service between Cantonment & Shivajinagar bus station could be planned to integrate with buses.

For KR Puram railway station, buses are already running past it & once Byappanahalli IMTC is built & becomes functional, connectivity with Metro & buses will become simplified. A dedicated shuttle service to & from KR Puram Station to Byappanahalli may not be necessary as volumes are not too large, yet, but could be thought of later.

Naveen's picture

Swaraj Mazdas - A great Idea !


You are spot on - shuttle services with smaller swaraj mazdas could be the answer for City Railway station & also for cantonment. Great that you have already been pushing this thing. The challenges here are :

1) Getting SWR to agree to this & take on the auto & taxi unions.

2) Routing between City Railway Station & Bus station. The existing traffic flow patterns neccessiate a circuitous route to Bus station - this will need some resolving for quick, efficient & fuel-saving route/s.

Any thoughts on how this could be done ?

s_yajaman's picture

Metro construction is going to cause a fair bit of havoc

Was readings somewhere that with the Metro interchange coming up where the KSRTC bus stand is, there is going to be a fair amount of disruption to the KSRTC operations there.  Most likely the whole area will be closed down to traffic.  Any news on that?  If that is the case, then Rail Vajras make a lot of sense starting from both sides of the station.


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

pathykv's picture


Is any one working on this to make the SWR authorities allow the BMTC buses inside the City Station compound?

Alternately the present bus routes should me modified by Traffic Police and BMTC to enable Railway commuters to board/alight from buses close to the Rly. Stn. entrance.


sanchitnis's picture

Existing buses will not do as no space of luggage



The existing service to Kempe Gowda Bus Station is not a substitute of Rail Vajra as they do not allow of luggage and are crowded most of the time. As the number of passangers is much higher than the Air traveller, I think it will be possible to run buses with full capacity and at much higher frequency.

It will be better to have more Suvarna Buses on these routes with separate racks.

In order to avoid crowding at the main station, buses can be run to KR Puram, Yelahanka, Bangalore Cantt/Bangalore East. 

As many of these stations are accessible directly from main roads, no permission from railways will be needed.

Sanjay Chitnis


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Atal buses suitable/People carry waggon load luggage


Whereas Airlines have prescribed luggage weight etc., and people adhere to proper security check and personal frisking, Railways/Roadways, though have some norms, are not strict.  Therefore, people carry waggon loads to their personal luggage inside the compartments. Vayu Vajras are OK for such sophisticated luggage carriers.  But Rail Vajras will be mobile godowns.

Atal type of buses with less seats will be most suited and they are bound to become popular if they are run from all corners as Railway Station Specials.

Trip Timings may be prescribed to suit arrivals/departures of major trains and suc bses need not be run as regular buses which may not serve the purpose and BMTC may incur losses.

-- Vasanth Mysoremath 

pathykv's picture


To start with, the present Big10/ Volvo buses from Majestic bus station should be routed thro the road by the side of the Rly. station to pick up and drop the passengers.

Based on the experience further improvements can be done.

Immediate requirement is the coordination between Traffic Police and BMTC for re-routing the existing buses.

At Cantonment Station what is needed is the mandatory stopping of all buses passing the station at the Station bus stop which should be shifted suitably nearer to the Station entrance and the bus routing modified so that no bus skips the bus stop.

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