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Bus services - a different approach

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"Vayu Vajra I am told is very convenient - for 150 rupees - starts from Aishwarya stores - supposed to be at every half an hour - but that's not the case. I was told today morning that they have one at 3.40pm but when I reached I realised it got cancelled and the next one was only at 6.40 PM.

Luckily, they had this cheaper alternative called 'Suvarna' for 80 rupees at 3.50 PM and I am now on my way!! The driver fellow has promised to reach in 90 minutes - but I doubt it; since he is stopping at every stop shouting airport airport airport airport..... ."

The above was the posting by a member of the 'savekoramangala' yahoogroup about the BMTC's services to the airport. And, this is not the only one - there are others equally critical. It is clear the service is just falling apart, indications of which were available from the first person accounts posted here earlier also.

In total contrast is the approach of "Airlift - Airport Transfer Services", which is appended in italics below. A reading of the two clearly brings out the difference between how a government agency approaches a task, and how a private operator converts it into an opportunity.

Many members have been commenting on BMTC's image problem. Experiences like the ones detailed above only go to reinforce it. I have dealt with enough government organisations and agencies to state almost categorically that, even if individuals within an organisation want to improve things, there are too many constraints the way they are set up, and eventually there is only that much that an individual manage.

Now, it is no secret that BMTC's VOLVO operations have been incurring huge losses. The BIAL services are expected add to that, and in no small measure. Knowing this well ahead, if they still took it on, it was only to prevent the private sector getting its foot in, because they feared that it will then be difficult for them to contain the private sector's spread to other areas.

I have always held that the most cost effective way to easing the city's traffic problems is by having professionalised bus services, which can happen only by facilitating the entry of Corporates like TATAs into the field. Now, why not get TATAs to take over the high-end services across the city (including to the airport), since anyway it is a losing proposition for BMTC? But, why should TATAs take it on? CSR - to atone for the damage that their NANO is going to cause to Indian cities, which none less than Dr Thomas Friedman has termed as the biggest disaster facing them. The government can do its best to facilitate TATA's operations by imposing congestion taxes on two & four-wheelers in inner areas of the city; giving priority for movement of their buses (as also those of BMTC) including by closing certain narrow stretches for private vehicles during peak hours; facilitating switch to NANO of all autos operating within BBMP limits over a 3-month period, etc. The government could also announce that if within 6 months, the situation does not improve (movement speed increasing from the present 10 KMPH in the inner city during peak hours to atleast double that), they will start work on the BRT system, which will then force the car owners to leave their vehicles at home, since with reduced road space for them, car movement will naturally become much slower.

If put across in this manner, and with the confidence that the name TATA generally inspires, as compared to the government owned BMTC, I expect the car/ two-wheeler owners will respond positively, and will start switching to using the buses atleast for commuting, that in itself making a huge difference to the city.

And, with all the facilitation, and TATA's general efficiency, the operations need not continue to make losses. As such, if the end of the 2nd year, they start making substantial profits, one or two other Corporates can also be roped in for large cities like Bangalore, and even the 'Janata' services opened out to them, all regulated by the State Land Transport Authority.

Public bus transport services are too vital an infrastructure area to be bogged down by conventional approaches which have not produced solutions.

Airlift - Airport Transfer Services

We are starting a Airport Transfer Service for Bangalore. Since the New airport is far from the city and we feel that Airport Transfers will become very expensive for the Passengers and there will be a definite problem to commute to and from the New Airport . We are introducing our service to make airport Transfers less expensive and still provide the required luxury while taking customers to and from the airport. We will pick up the customers from the Airlift pickup points and drop them to the airport and vice versa bring them to the city from the airport.

Unique features of the Airlift Vehicle
-Airlift will be 6 seat air conditioned Toyota Innova. Individual Bucket seats for all 5 passengers.
-Airlift will have a LCD screen on each passenger seat for personalized entertainment system, these screens will show 5 channels with different contents.
-Airlift has ample overhead covered and secured luggage space.
-Airlift will be Wi-Fi enabled for passengers to browse the internet on the screens and as well as with their laptops.
-Airlift will be driven by our Auto Pilots who will be in uniform and well trained to communicate and present themselves to the customers.
-Airlift will also be tracked by GPS system to ensure efficient on time services and tracking every vehicle to make sure of complete security of passengers.

Airlift is being designed to provide complete comfort and help the passenger to use their commuting time productively.

Pricing: We feel that the Normal City Cab from or to the Airport will cost about 750/- to 1000/- one way. Our service has been priced at Rs. 300/- one way and moreover Return journey for to and from the airport will be Rs. 450/- per person. That is nearly 70% saving on the Airport Transfers vis-à-vis a regular City Cab.

How to avail the service: Book Tickets online on our website www.airliftonline. com through Credit or Debit Card. Pickup the Prepaid Coupons in any of the Retail Stores and call 9845047788 to make a booking or use the same on www.airliftonline. com

Support: SMS AIRLIFT to 54545. Our support team will get in touch with you ASAP. Call our 24/7 call center number 98450 47788 .

Logon to our website www.airliftonline. com for any queries

Muralidhar Rao

PS: Associated reading - Better bussing ...


George E Matthew's picture

Money power will ruin it

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First of all, the government is not in a position to enforce regulation effectively. Powerful vested interests will hijack it to serve their own interests.We have learnt from the BIAL episode that even if a well reputed company runs/constructs a  public infrastructure  project, they will  care only for their onw short term profit-not for the welfare of the city.

BIAL was built by companies that are perhaps the best in the world. Despite that, just look at the shortcomings detailed by Mr Devesh Aggarwal. Hence we cannot conclude that if reputed companies take over bus services, there will be no problems. No amount of government regualtion can solve  this problem. 

Just look at the huge number of letters to the editor criticising BIAL in Sunday's Deccan Herald. There was only one letter of praise-and that was not for BIAL, but for the Vajra Vayu Service. There are clearly many happy customers. In fact, even on the trip that I blogged about where many people missed their flights, nobody had any criticism of the BMTC.

The problem is traffic jams going to the airport, not the BMTC services. If Tata took over, the bus would still get stuck in traffic. The solution lies in decongesting roads, not privatising bus services.

Incidently, we last a few mintues at Mekhri circle as we were blocked by a private bus(unorganized sector-not like Tata) that  picked up people from the middle of the road.

In short, there is not need to interfere with BMTC as it is clearly functioning well. I travel on it daily as it is my main means of transport. I have used it since my student days and it has steadily improved.

A state land transport authority coudl easy get corrupted/subject to political interference and end up functioning like the RTO. BMTC/KSRTC are organizations with far better credibility/customer service/efficiency than RTO. Government has failed in regulation, but has succeeded in running these services. In future, that is what must be followed-run good services, avoid attempts to regulate as that only leads to corruption.

tsubba's picture

airport services

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murali sir, slightly tangential comment. many members who have visited the airport have observed that bangalore bound airport shuttles are full while airport bound shuttles are empty. i have theory. it is a synchronization problem. for south bound buses demand is generated in bulk at a single point(airport) in periodic short overlapping bursts of 20-30 minutes. since services exist to 9 different points within the city bmtc is able to appropriately able too meet the demand on south bound trips. for north bound buses, collection is disperesed both in space and time. even if there are 150 passengers taking the 3:20 flight to bookankere, how to collect most of them efficiently? so that brings me the other point. clearly, for south bound trips a bus is appropriately sized as opposed to 6 5-seaters. however on the north bound smaller vehicles are better suited. can a vehicle magically grow in size. :) btw arent the airlift guys pricing themselves high? perhaps they give door to terminal service. but if bmtc were able to do a reliable (+/- 5 minutes) service then auto+vajra < airlift. but you are bang on, unless bmtc picks up steam and is on the lookout on this one, pretty soon the bpo cabs will look like angels.
silkboard's picture

BMTC can't really do a lot more.

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Murali sir, little that we have talked, it should be clear that I am not really a socialist. So do look at this comment without that bias.

Let me quote parts of your post - "government can do its best to facilitate TATA's operations by imposing congestion taxes ... in inner areas of the city; giving priority for movement of ... buses ... closing certain narrow stretches for private vehicles during peak hours ..."

When you say things like this, you are mixing two things in one stroke - bring private operators (TATA), and push policy/enforcement changes to make buses move faster.

As we have discussed to death, for the middle-class to use the buses in droves, you first have to make the buses move faster, and reliable.

We know we need either of these two to make buses move faster.

  • Managing road spaces via enforcement - to segregate traffic either by size, speed or distance its going
  • Just do some version of BRTS. Semi dedicated lanes, or gadgetry on traffic lights to let busses through

Now, don't go into the specifics of above two. But how will getting TATA in change anything on above two? I would say that having TATA in the mix when working on above two items is risky - private party will influence policy matters to their advantage (see BIAL and concession agreement for example). Policy should be set in place before private operators are allowed in.

So right now, we know BMTC alone can't do any better by itself, because, speeding up buses will involve BBMP/BDA (road space owner), BMRDA (town planner) and Traffic Police (traffic enforcer) in addition to BMTC. There would be more - BESCOM (if doing electric buses), BWSSB (if construction requires moving or covering pipes/drains).

I would use all our energy to push for BMLTA to have more teeth and say. That comes before anything else. Without BMLTA, only "island" efforts happen. BMTC will keep getting Volvos, that are bleeding money. BBMP will keep widening roads to create more free parking space, and get magic boxes done that will get filled with cars. BDA will do flyovers that will move jams around and kill pedestrians. Not that these bodies don't talk to each other, but this "silo" approach to public transport needs to be addressed first. Period.

Once we have buses moving faster, then, we will see if rolling stock operator (BMTC) is the problem. But right now, its lower on priority. And I will say that jumbling up the BMLTA like policy issue (integrated measures to speeden up the buses) and privatization of rolling stick operator - this mixed message will find fewer takers.

tsubba's picture


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i should really let him do the talking, but from what i have understood, he is really talking about responsiveness - especially in terms of route planning, perhaps also other things like customer service. from what i understand, bmtc is basically content servicing legacy routes or adding new lines in the same old tradition. when the city has changed, and new travel patterns have emerged, bmtc has not responded appropriately. now resource constraints might be one of the reasons, but that again points to some related issues ... i may be wrong. jmt.
Naveen's picture

Improving Bus Services

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SB - Yr assessment is bang on.

A few cosmetic changes by bringing in better private parties, if ever they are interested or willing to come is not the first step on the path to privatization.

What is required is to allow free runs for buses, without them being effected by traffic delays. After making provisions for this, we will have to see how BMTC reponds & if they still cannot improve service levels, private parties will have to be roped in.

I also agree with George - govt bodies are more likely to meet social obligations & responsibilities (however crude the manner is, in which they meet this), when compared to private bodies who will only worry about their bottomlines.

TS - yr analysis makes sense. There is one more important factor - Those bound for the airport usually want to leave as late as possible & are usually under pressure for time. They will then try utmost to reach the airport on time without hiccups, & invariably end up travelling by taxi/s or other more reliable means than BMTC, after falling prey to such time pressure & uncertainty.

Also, as I mentioned previously, BMTC needs to really shakeup & understand the ground realities better - travel patterns have changed & travel classes are much more diverse today. They need professionals who can analyze needs & respond with more appropriate route plans. I think Mr.Murali is correct in pointing this out.


sanchitnis's picture

Re: Airport Services

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The problem of collecting the passangers for Northbound journey arises due to poor frequency and low reliability (due to traffic or whatever). Here are my suggestions:

1. Use minibuses or even innovas insterad of Suvarna and increase the frequency to one mini-bus atleast every 10 minutes.

2. Create a buffer pool of minibuses at TTMCs where traffic is higher so that as soon as the minibus is full, it is sent even if it is ahead of scheduled departure time. Also in case of traffic jams when returning buses are full, starting time does not get affected.

Those who want to travel by Volvo at least will have a reliable backup transport.

Sanjay Chitnis

s_yajaman's picture

A comprehensive policy is a pre-requisite

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One of the reasons that the airline industry could get private players and not end up in a Blueline situation was that the airline industry had a pretty decent regulatory framework PRIOR to the entry of private players. Pilot licensing procedures, aircraft maintenance standards, navigation systems, etc etc. Airlines knew what they had to follow and the penalty for not following them is severe - a crashed aircraft is the last thing an airline wants.

We need to have a similar policy for urban public transport before we let the private guys in.

a. There has to be broad support among politicians and bureaucrats that public transport is accorded primary status on the roads. A Margaret Thatcher like statement will just destroy public transport.

b. 30-40% of road space should be earmarked for public transport.

c. Driver licensing and road behaviour. They need to be told that they will simply be sacked if they violate red lights, don't stop at bus stops, drive recklessly. If they kill someone they face long jail terms. The Railway Union e.g. will not protest if an engine driver is sacked for jumping a red light.

d. Bus standards and maintenance.

And more. I obviously don't have the expertise to draw up a regulatory framework. But without this and political support for public transport, it might not work. If our politicians make up their minds, things get done (cracking on the underworld in Bombay, the Golden Quadrilateral are good examples).


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

s_yajaman's picture

Taking Airlift tomorrow morning - will let you know

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Murali sir,

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.  I have booked an Airlift Cab for tomorrow morning. The online booking process was fairly painless - but most online processes are painless.

They also offer a door pick up for Rs.100 more and I opted for it.  I don't fancy standing on Kanakapura Road at 4:30 a.m. not sure where the pick up is going to be, too far away from a self-drive option and possibly in the pouring rain

Now, I am trying to contact them to enquire about the door pick up.  I have been dialing their numbers for the past 45 mins and no one even picks up the phone.  I am sure missed calls must have registered on their mobiles, but no one has called back.

I am seriously worried about tomorrow morning.  Push comes to shove, I will drive to the airport and park my car for the night and drive back on Wed afternoon.


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

Naveen's picture

Tackling The BIAL N-Bound Bus Fiasco

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To have more frequent services & to deal with poor patronization on North-Bound services to BIAL, I think this might be more faesible & reliable :

Suppose we do away with pickkups from various points & operate only one service that originates from Silkboard Jn --- The route plan would be Hosur road, via Dairy circle & past Shantinagar bus terminus, Richmond circle, Hudson circle, Kasturba rd, Cricket stadium, Windsor manor, Mekhri circle, Hebbal, Yelahanka & onwards to BIAL.

If you notice, most of the existing points of origin are all in the South-east, & hence the choice of Silkboard as the start point.

Stops can be permanenetly marked at various points along the route & services can be much more frequent (say every 20 mins) as this is the only route to BIAL.

Instead of having so many fragmented & thus, unreliable services, this might offer stiff competition to Meru & Easy cabs as also the other providers such as AirLift.

In any case, last mile connectivity is needed even with the various routes that are in operation, & this single route operation will increase the last mile to perhaps the last three to five miles - better than by taxi all the way to Hebbal or to BIAL !!

What are yr thoughts ? I would like to know before I email a proposal to CTM Dastagir Sharieff.


silkboard's picture

Oh yes Naveen

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[Sorry Murali, this is sorta off-topic, you wanted to talk privatization here]. 

Naveen, basically, you are suggesting an extension of last mile connectivity thing. BMTC can talk to the KSTDC drivers many of whom I am told (but doubt) are out of jobs (or do business with Celcabs itself). Let them line up cabs near these BIAS bus stands on the trunk Silk Board to BIAS route. Let them have access to information about when the next BIAS Volvo will come.

So now, I want to go to the airport, I call the taxi guy, they tell me when the next bus should come to the nearest stop, I get a drop till the bus stop, get on and go. Only issue, luggage transfer will need help, and take some time.

But this way Volvos dont get 'fragmented'. And their routes dont keep getting extended to residences of influential people.

Just 1 route may be a bit less, there can be a 2 or 3 more, 1 from center of city, from south/west side. 3-4 is a lot less than 9 that they have currently. with half or one third the routes, frequency should double/triple on these "trunk" routes.

In addition, a park & Ride facility near Hebbal will help. If you just don't have time to call or check where the nearest Volvo route/cab etc is, just go to Hebbal. Park there, take the next bus going North.

I have heard similar ideas that say Buses from city should terminate at Hebbal, and there should be a stream of buses from Hebbal to BIA. Good idea, but this will be a bit much as you will need another luggage transfer here. Two switches will be a bit much (cab to Hebbal bus, and the Hebbal to BIA bus). 

murali772's picture

long haul

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Very simply, if they can't deliver on their promise, they lose credibility and will have to pack up. As compared to that,  BMTC carries on whatever. That's the difference between private sector and public sector, and particularly when it's a monopoly. With all that, people still seem to have such abiding faith in BMTC and government organisations. It's going to be a long haul.

All the best for your trip. 

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
deponti's picture

Not necessarily Tata...

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Hi Murli,


I do agree that a lot of things have to be amended in BMTC's approach to the busing-to-BIAL...but I don't necessarily agree that turning it over to the Tatas is the answer.

Why cannot BMTC announce firm timings, at least from the terminals where the Vayu Vajra operates? Yes, initially they may lose more money but if they are punctual and reliable I am sure passenger traffic will pick up. BMTC *has* mentioned approximately how long it is likely to take from each terminus to the BIAL, but they are yet to give a frequency and timings. one ever picks up the phone to give answers. And passengers ARE scared of having buses cancelled, and that's the reason why they will once again start opting for vans or cars, and we will be back to the road congestion problem again. It's in BMTC's power to prevent a repetiton of the use-the-car attitude at this stage, and get people thinking the let's-use-the-buses way. 

murali772's picture

has to do everything, but - - -

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Hi tiger

BMTC has to do this, has to do that. But, do they have the capacity to do this and that? Presently no. Will they develop it? Not on theor own. But, yes, if there is effective competition, very much like Indian, BSNL, National Insurance, SBI, etc have after effective competition came on. 

Somebody is preparing to send an e-mail to the CTMO (Chief Traffic Manager, Operations). But, the CTMO of an organisation managing a fleet of 4,000 odd buses is computer illiterate. That's BMTC for you.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

CTMO is Computer Literate, BIAL Routes

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CTMO had responded well to each of my two emails in the past. I made an appointment with him also by email sometime before our first praja meeting.

I cant but disagree with you on this, given my experiences with him. He may not, of course be as proficient as you & me, but he certainly knows enough for the job that he is entrusted with - I can say this very easily.

As regards dependence on BMTC, I mentioned earlier that they would meet social obligations better than private parties, however crude the manner in which they do it, but meet them, they defnitely will. Thus, whilst all of us grumble about service levels, we also accept BMTC with all it's weaknesses as still a better option than private operators.

SB - Noted yr post, & perhaps two or at most three routes shd be okay. My idea is to suggest the SB route (most frequent, say each 20 mins), another less frequent one from Karunashraya via Marathalli ring road & Hebbal (say every 50 mins) & the third from Vijayanagar (once every 80 mins).

Based on the outcome & patronization levels, the frequenies can be changed - it's better to be less frequent & stick to schedules than to publicize frequent shedules which you might not be able to meet.

What is your say ?


surajshekar's picture

One route might not suffice

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What you say makes sense. The planning of these nine routes is much better compared to the traditional BMTC 'planning' style but sadly the traffic is playing spoilsport and wreaking havoc on the schedules. So there should be lesser routes with more frequency

Instead of one route which you are talking about, I think we can have atleast four routes. One each from the South, East and the West directions which will as usual converge at Hebbal.

What I can think of is-

route1 to cater to- Banashankari and surroundings(uttarahalli,CMK achkat,Isro layout,TR Nagar,padmanabhnagar) - starting point Kamakya. via- BSK, Jayangar 4th blk, KH road, etc...

route2- JP Nagar and surroundings (MICO layout, Arakere, hulimavu,others around bannerghatta road) - starting point- 6th phase via east end, Jnr 4th blk, KH road, etc...

route3- Silkboard/Koramangala and surroundings - That is what you have described

route4- Marathalli and surroundings (DRDO, CV raman nagar, tippasandra, etc...) Startting point- marathalli bridge. via HAL airport road, Domlur, trinity, Stadium, etc...

route5- Vijayanagar or rajajinagar. I am not sure about the best Landmark here. But one route for this part of Bengaluru

With this structure, existing frequency of buses can be doubled and find that high density residential areas in all directions are fairy well connected. A pick up point will be max 5 km away from anywhere. A very popular area like Jayanagar 4th block gets almost double frequency because of 2 routes out of 5 (which means 40% of 40 vajras=16 vajras).

So, a person anywhere in South bangalore will feel that Jnr 4th block will always be a safe bet to catch a bus. That sort of comfort level will help. He can travel in his Cab till here because even in worst case scenario there should be a bus once in every 20-25 minutes. That should be fair enough and reliable.

The reason to insist on keeping 5 routes is because there is sufficient evidence that buses are popular on the return journey frm BIA. Keeping 1 or 2 routes has the risk of losing these precious 'customers' for the reason that they would be heading to "An unwanted place"

For last mile connectivity, since we are seeing that a bus stop is not more than 5 km away, a metered taxi or celcabs with some dry runs and better publicity be helpful



sanchitnis's picture

Reducing routes for Vajra, more frequent minibuses for Suvarna

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I agree with SB modifying Naveen's proposal to have less number of routes with better frequency and reliability of timing.

 ON the other hand, I think it makes sense to keep the multiple routes for Suvarna. Here also we need higher frequency which can be achieved by using minibuses or vans. There are lot of employees of BIAL, airlines etc who need to commute daily from the city. They will prefer to use these minibuses.

 Sanjay Chitnis

Vasanth's picture

Frequency Problem of BIAL services

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Currently there are 40 Vayuvarja buses.

Areas with 2 hour travel time with 1 hour frequency needs (120+120+60)/60 = 5 Buses. For remote end of Bangalore such as EC with 3 hour travel time, we need (180+180+60)/60 = 7 buses.

There is also bus service to Majestic which is not mentioned in the website. This is approx 1.5 hour travel and it needs around 5 buses.

There are 4 2 hour routes as per BIAL website info and 1 3 hour route. So we have 5*4+7= 27+5 = 32 buses.  There is buffer of 8 buses. I don't know if it is used for some other route.

For 30 minutes frequency, we need almost double the number of buses for which the existing stock of buses is not sufficient.

With the existing number of buses fulfilling everybody's needs may be difficult. Routes without passengers can be removed and can be served with Non A/C for connectivity purpose and routes with more passengers should be provided with Volvo services.

More Volvo buses are needed (as per passenger's demand), but, donnow how BMTC will manage. 

Even if private operator would have been here, he too couldn't have managed it more than these number of buses. A Volvo costing around 70 Lakhs is very expensive amount for a private operator. He might have used customized A/C buses instead.

Vasanth's picture

Luggage Problem for TTMC Concept

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We could have had a TTMC at hebbal and run frequent buses from Hebbal and buses upto Hebbal. But, luggage transfer is the problem here and hence cannot opt for this.
narayan82's picture

Stop Suvarna/Re route

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I have noticed the Suvarna busses to BIAL play EMPTY - back and forth! Can these busses be diverted to go Via Yelahanka/Yelahanka New town. There is a lot of people on that route and the busses are always packed. To me, that service is more there because BMTC has to show that it has tickets for all prices!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Naveen's picture

BIAL Buses - Ltr to CTMO, BMTC

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Text of letter sent :

To: Mr.Dastgir Sheriff, CTMO, BMTC
Good Day, Sir.
At the outset, we wish to thank BMTC for providing the BIAL bus services.
We have been discussing reason/s & steps that can be taken to improve patronization levels on the North-bound BIAL buses, which are running empty. From BIAL, when South-bound, the same buses are very well patronized, though.
One of the reasons perhaps, why North-bound buses run empty is that people always want to depart as late as possible, & with BIAL bus pickup points spaced out over several areas, the frequencies are not very high from each pickup point. Because of this, it adds to the total trip time for the passenger since he has to allow as much as 60 minutes or more just to take care of this - a proposition many are uncomfortable with.
What we feel is that if the pickup points are reduced to only a few (say, from central, south, east & west) instead of the several additional pickup points presently, the services can be made more frequent & if scheduled departure times are strictly adhered to, it might be much more successful.
Routes need to be obviously redone & widely publicized, & the key factor would be to ensure that each trip departs exactly on time, irrespective of how many passengers are on board.
An approximate time of arrival at BIAL can be advertised, since this would be dependent on traffic conditions.
I hope these suggestions are accepted by you, & we hope to see BMTC Volvo buses with much better patronization levels than at present.
With Kind Regards, 
murali772's picture

let's agree to disagree

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I think I should know better, since I have interacted with him fairly closely for over two years. He has a PA who does the typing for him. The mails you sent were possibly responded to with the help of the PA. The question is 'is that good enough for the CTMO of such a large fleet?'. An effective CTMO should be seeing the comments on sites like PRAJA and effecting quick changes as required. It is not happening, and it can't happen. And, that's what I mean when I talk about BMTC's capacity.

BMTC's fares may be low (actually, they are not). But, when the dependability is so poor, it is the EWS who land up paying the highest price. This is common about all government services - power, water, healthcare, education, transport, PDS, etc. This is exactly the bane of Socialism. It can only be preached, not practised.

There have been postings saying that BMTC services are better than the bus services in most other cities in India. That may be true. However, if you want to increase the percentage of daily trips made by the citizens on BMTC from the present 45 odd to something like 75, in order that we don't remain grid-locked on our roads, neither the present level of services nor the present approach is good enough. And, my submission is that it can't improve without effective competition.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
George E Matthew's picture

Wet Lease BMTC vehicles

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To make it easier for private players to enter, without too much capital investment, is it possible to wet lease a BMTC bus(with driver) and run it on some alternate, underserved route? Tickets can be slightly more expensive than BMTC-people will still perfer it to a round about round about  route by regular BMTC that takes a long time.

This is what the dirty(literally) maxi-cabs do. They are able to survive only because they are able to spot minor gaps in BMTC's service and fill them. But the vehicles are poorly maintained and drivers dangerous. BMTC vehicles by contrast are well maintianed, and the drivers are (relatively) safe. This is my experience after much travel in these vheciles, as for the last 8 years public transport has been my main mode of travel. 

Running of buses must be done by companies who have a good understanding of customer service/publicity.They need not bother about capital investment, they need only bother about marketing. If they provide a good service, they will reduce cars on the road. Please note that many IT company campuses, like Bagamane Tech Park, DivyaShree Technopolis(i2) etc. are all using chartered BMTC services for staff transport-meaing that people who would normally travel by car come by bus. This proves that everything is alright with BMTC except an understanding of its customers, and a quick response to their needs.


Naveen's picture

Transfer from Socialism to Free Market

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CTMO - I was unaware that you had interacted with him closely, so I might have been incorrect. I had been quite impreseed when my emails were reponded to promptly with his rank below, & had assumed that he was handling emails himself.

I have already commented about BMTC's insensitiveness towards the commuting public, & the need for it to employ professionls to understand, analyze & develop solutions for the diverse needs of today - I am in agreement with you on this. I also agree that socialistic methods have many negatives & competition is the only answer to get the best for consumers.

My concern is primarily about the manner of the transfer. Such a change cannot succeed all of a sudden, particularly in our country with myriad problems & vote-bank politics. The need here is that it must be developed step by step, without harming the interests of the weaker sections, both on the institutional side which governs & oversees the process, as also on the delivery side, which provides services. Neither side have the intent nor developed sufficient capabilities.

In fact the use of competitive mechanisms seen so far is so poor that it is limited to outsourcing of bus services, contract-based street maintenance, & a budding effort to charge for on-street parking - this last has also been suspended for a long time now, & progress on this front has halted.

The reliance on private sector funding in critical infrastructural areas & the know-how is also limited. Efforts have commenced with BIAL, BETL, etc. but many like the NICE corridor are caught up in many legal & political challenges.

As far as bus services are concerned, I dont think quality operators will bite unless BRTS is employed, since there is bound to be fare regulation to assist the poor, atleast initially, & volumes /profits are uncertain when operating in mixed traffic conditions.

The 75% target of daily trips by BMTC is highly optimistic & may never happen, with Metro /Mono slated to come up. At 42%, I think BMTC is actually doing very well when compared to any other Indian city, & even when compared to most larger cities abroad. One single mode, & that too bus services to cater to 75% in a large city, I think is an aberration. Do you know of any such city ?

Most cities with 6 million+ have several modes, & Bangalore will also soon have multiple modes, too, with the Metro coming up. The 75% can then be set as a target, but not with just the one mode with buses.


surajshekar's picture

Only BMTC cant be blamed

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Your questions-

Why cannot BMTC announce firm timings, at least from the terminals where the Vayu Vajra operates? Yes, initially they may lose more money but if they are punctual and reliable I am sure passenger traffic will pick up.

I think has been answered. BMTC has put up timing boards at all the pickup points. The "if they are punctual" phrase goes for a toss simply because they go down the drain with the traffic conditions. They are helpless here and the same has been discussed in some posts in this thread. People generally tend to "play safe" and not experiment with buses when they are about to catch flights. So naturally passenger occupancy is less towards BIA. I also agree that this system was not marketed well enough to attract people. As Mr. Murali has rightly put it- "the government" style of working. They have no excuse for this.


And passengers ARE scared of having buses cancelled, and that's the reason why they will once again start opting for vans or cars, and we will be back to the road congestion problem again. It's in BMTC's power to prevent a repetiton of the use-the-car attitude at this stage, and get people thinking the let's-use-the-buses way

I beg to differ with the last sentence, It is not entirely in BMTCs hands. Yes, they too need some refinement to offer more reliable services (and some solutions to this are being discussed in this thread). First hand experiences say, it is the traffic which is the main villain and needs to be tackled first at the root level. Without dedicated lanes(which is under BBMPs mercy), no operator (BMTC or TATA or XYZ) can ever promise punctual or reliable service. Pls refer to Mr.George Mathew's experiences posted in the 'BMTC-BIAL personal experience' thread which brings out positive as well as negative aspects of BMTC.




surajshekar's picture

Pls share the reply

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Please share the reply from CTMO if you get one



silkboard's picture

Murali sir - private vs answerable corporation

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Murali sir, one thing you must realize is that, neither Naveen (speaking for him here), nor myself are fans of everything BMTC does and says. They can certainly operate better and more responsively.

But please keep your BMTC feelings aside for a moment, think carefully using your rich knowledge and awareness. What can bring the biggest  positive change to city's public transport landscape in near to mid-term? Can't be Metro, unless you had phase I/II/III all ready in two years. Phase I will end up creating a high density high FAR corridor that will make BBMP and BDA's life miserable.

Point #0. Our biggest asset is road space, BMTC's rolling stock comes next. Better management of land transportation assets (basically road space) will make or break the usage records and service levels of rolling stock operator.

Point #1. Opening up local bus transport  space will not lead to better management of road space. It will only worsen it.

Point #2. Yes, liberalizing rolling stock operation is needed, but this should be unleashed only after creating "conditions" for private operators to be successful, successful as in serving the city, not as in just making money for themselves because TATA or whoever can make money right from today if they are allowed in.

Its a bit like when you solve complex problems, or create big designs, you break the problem into smaller units, and attack the sub-problem that is highest in severity or priority. If you try to solve all sub-problems at once, you fail. Why? Because solving one sub-problem changes the nature of whatever is remaining of the original problem.

So lets try better road space management first. That would mean we (public) support BMTC right now and help them fit within BMLTA.

Bringing in private operators without a Land Transport regulatory framework in place will be risky. Private operators may provided unwanted help in developing the framework and it could be like how BIAL has worked the concession agreement to its favor.

Further, I notice that these days, one step privatization is pushed forward as a quick solution in most matters of infrastructure and pubic service. I know this is a result of our frustration with government bodies. But if we are unable to push government bodies to deliver better services to us, when their records and operations are like open book, and they are controlled by elected people, why are we so hopeful that we will be able to push closed and private bodies if and when they don't behave well?

Opening up city public transport will at best give you 2 or 3 players. A private duopoly could be worse off than a public monopoly. The examples of telecom, banking etc that you give are spaces where its possible to have 5-6 players, and the threat of adding more players to the mix is always real to prevent unfair 'cooperation' or virtual cartelization.

A better example here would be TV cable providers. As of 2 years ago (before Satellite), and even now, these were the worst possible service providers doing goondagiri of all sorts to cut cables of their rivals or firm-fisted consumers. Take my horrible connection at my price, or watch Doordarshan, it was as simple as that. Think and tell us why.

Before I rest my case on this debate, just to repeat, I am no socialist, but I prefer that this be done one by one. Regulatory structure to manage land transportation assets (road space) first, opening up city public transport space later if we feel the benefits of regulatory body haven't been enough. It might be that after BMLTA does some magic to make buses move faster, we will say - hey, leave BMTC on the "trunk" routes, just privatize the last-mile (intra-TTMC) connectivity space. You never know :)

sanchitnis's picture

Privatization - Pune experience

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In Pune (and lot of other several cities), 'Six seater' diesel vehicles provide public transport along key routes on major radial roads connecting the suburbs and along the 'ring road'. They pickup and drop passangers anywhere along the route and stuff the vehicles sometimes with 10-12 people. They have unofficial transfer hubs so that you can travel from one end of the city (sat Katraj) to the other (Hinjevadi) with 2-5 minutes of transfer times.

In spite of the inconvenience of sitting in unconfortable positions inside and serious safety risks, this service is still well patronized by people due to its main USP - frequency. You just stop for a few minutes anywhere on the road and flag the next vehicle coming along.

Now the operators have a cartel and it was very difficult for the authorities to control this service which started to cause lot of safety issues in additino to being totally illegal. The Public transport service (PMT) tried to compete with them running high-frequency stop-anywhere mini-buses on the same route. This service is also received OK, though there is no match with the frequency supported.

I am not recommending such a service in Bangalore, but it will be nice if BMTC considers similar high-frequency routes.

deponti's picture

At the terminals...

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Hi Suraj,

I agree with you that punctuality at the various bus stops is just not possible at this stage.

Yesterday I went to the Jayanagar 4th block bust stand just to check out the scene at one of the interim bus stops.

The Vayu Vajra bus stop board had the timings (15 min intervals) painted on it, but over that was pasted another sign that said, current timings are every hour except from 0045 ot 0345 due to very low number of departing aircraft. I was glad of the update. so decided to wait and see what the approximate timing of the Vayu Vajra would be. I waited from about 5.10pm to about 6.35 pm. During that time, I saw one VV bus going towards J P Nagar 6th Phase; it passed the Jayanagar bus stop at about 5.20pm. However, no V V bus appeared going to the airport at all. Two Suvarna buses appeared, one at about 6 pm and one at about 6.25 pm.

What I am suggesting is that BMTC give fixed timings *from the terminals*. Even if a Vayu Vajra bus comes to the bus terminus once in 45 min, it can be scheduled for departure at, say, every hour on the hour, and can start punctually. Since the original plan was for 15 min intervals, I think that 1 bus instead of 4 can definitely keep up the starting time. Then, waiting passengers at other points on the way will also know that at least once in the next hour, the V V bus will be coming.

The Suvarna buses were also fairly comfortable with luggage space. But here, I am thinking of that pampered office executive with his air-conditioned car, who, unless given a comparable ride, will opt to be a single passenger to BIAL airport in his car...if enough of them start the "car" option again, we will be back to choked roads on the new BIAL route as well. Unfortunately, this segment of car-users are likely to be a majority of the BIAL users, as they travel frequently on work.

We are at a critical juncture right now, where, because of the distance to the airport and because of the imminent rise in fuel prices, we can sway the attitudes of the users of cars to take the bus...IF a comparable ride is provided. Otherwise, I fear we may be back to each-one-take-a-car scenario. A proactive response from BMTC can make a major change to our city right now.

Yes, I agree that my suggestion is only part of a very complex scenario. But I feel that keeping punctually to timings (even if less frequent than initially envisaged) from the terminal points to the airport, will be a fairly good step in the right direction. Most passengers, as you rightly point out, are worried about the reliability of service. BMTC can provide this at least from the terminal points at this time.


navshot's picture

BMTC's BIA service

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I want to add my two paisas worth from my experience:

We have found BMTC working best when its made accountable and kept on toes by constant monitoring. This maybe difficult to do for general public transportation across the city, but I'm sure we can work out a model for BIA. Consider this:

BIAL and/or group of airlines (atleast majority, if not all) directly contracts out services from BMTC (similar to this), with an option to charge the bus service along with air ticket. It gives clear specifications, routes, timings, etc. It even monitors the timings and integrates this into their system. For example, if you're travelling by KF airlines by 9:00AM flight, KF would find out the nearest boarding point, tells you, for example, that there are buses at 6:45, 7:00 and 7:15AM and that you'd have to catch the 7:15 bus, worst case. Once you board the bus, its KF's and BMTC's responsibility to take you on time. From our experience, when BMTC is contracted and monitored regularly, they deliver almost as good as private guys. 

Some of the other things we can consider along with this:

1. last mile pickup/drop can be handled by airlines (I saw a KF/Deccan bus yesterday on NH-7 - this is not a good sign)

2. remote check-in can happen on the bus!

3. controling/scaling based on demand of ridership in both directions (prior knowledge is available as it would be known during air ticket sales)

Some of the stumbling blocks:

1. need to consider visitors (non-travellers) - how they are charged, etc...

2. convincing BIA/airlines to take responsibility of transport access to airport


-- navshot
sanchitnis's picture

BIAS and airlines

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It may be possible to involve low-cost airlines with this approach of airlines working wit hBMTC to provide the transport. They are anyway loosing customers due to high cost of transport to new airport. They may be happy to run pick-up buses  from 2-3 points in the city to catch a specific set of flights.

Similar approach is used by Air Asia - a Malaysian cow-cost airline to pickup passanger by Bus from Singapore and taking them to Johar bahru airport across the border.


narayan82's picture

BIAS and airlines -2

220 users have liked.
Another Example is Ryan Air. In Brussels there is an airport called "Cheleroi" which is a good 40 mins away from city centre. They run a bus, which is 20 Euros (and a ryan ticket is just 12 euros :)) which people use to get into town. It is cordinated with the flight schedule. Also as I mentioned before, when we are running low in frequency, why is BMTC outsourcing the busses to Ground Handlers at the airport for Tarmac Use?
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
murali772's picture

a bit utopian, but - -

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I am touched by the effort put in by the group to carry me along. But, I guess, my experiences with handling government agencies over far more years than many here, has caused me to conclude that competition and competition alone can change their outlook. I certainly would like to be proved wrong, since I very much appreciate that they have all been conceived and set up with very noble objectives.

Whatever, I have more or less given up on government as a service provider and a producer of goods. They certainly have their roles as policy makers, regulators, etc. Admittedly, our transfer and regulatory mechanisms have still to mature, and until that happens, to let loose the run-of-the mill private players, may be quite disastrous. But, we can't continue to suffer the public sector till the mechanisms are in place. And, that's where I thought TATAs could come in, playing the public sector role, under a CSR initiative, for a few years, during which period, they along with the government, State Land Transport Authority, and PRAJA (public) can evolve the mechanisms, and run the operations for a while. Once things are in place, it can then be opened out to the market, including to TATAs.

Yes, a bit utopian. But, like I have repeatedly stated - Public bus transport services are too vital an infrastructure area to be bogged down by conventional approaches which have not produced solutions. So, we need to think out of the box. And, I would like to place my bets on TATAs. Of course, they also need to accept the suggestion.

My insignificant share holdings in Indian Hotels Ltd (a TATA group company) are not going to make me greatly richer in the process. But, the quality of lives of citizens, including of those of my own family, hopefully should improve considerably.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Vasanth's picture

20 More Vayu Vajra will be added

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Today's news is that 20 more Vayu Vajra are added to routes with high demand.

surajshekar's picture

HIAL's Volvo service- "Aero Express"

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Was just trying to see what is happening about connectivity between Hyderabad and RGIA

Happened to find this -

> 5 routes NON STOP, repeat NON STOP from five points.

> Frequency- 30 mins

> Inter city type Volvo Bus used which will have about 30 pushback seats and a luggage rack inside

> And fare Flat Rs.95/- !! Thats pretty cheap

Now, my Hyderabad/secunderabad Geography is really poor. But I still think it is a very economical service run by GMR. Just by seeing the pick up points, can anybody say that it is giving good/dependable "coverage" to Hyderabad assuming that 30 minutes frequency is OK and they are sticking to it?

Also, they are definitely going to attract a lot of cars and taxis by building the PVN Rao elevated highway to RGIA. Tried my best to find out about the Hyderabad city transports service (or APSRTC) to RGIA, but couldn't find anything interesting. Some buses do run I heard, but no volvos (Atleast in this aspect, kudos to BMTC, but you need to do a loooot more. Swanky red buses alone will not attract people). Only future plan for mass transport is a Metro which is planned.

I am also trying to find some threads on the feedback of this 'Aeroexpress' service and last mile connectivity.

Find one interior pic of Aero Express along with some pics of RGIA in this link. I did not see crowding anywhere in these pics. Have they done a better job than BIAL (sorry to go off topic) ? First impression, yes.


Also check page88 for a few more pics

I'll stop about Hyderabad here.

Now, the Bangalore scene: We are opposing the road widening towards BIA and instead, urging to provide top priority to public transport. Its a good idea, I support it. Can we intensify it a little more? Perhaps, another thread to form an action plan to wake up BMTC and BBMP? Privatization is a long debated topic and doesnt look like giving much needed immediate relief due to the intevention of sensitive legal framework and procedures.

Feedbacks invited please.


Naveen's picture

BIAS - BMTC's Reply

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Suraj & Others - Reply from BMTC :

BMTC takes this opportunity to convey thanks for your  valuable suggestions.

Presently BMTC is operating  its Services in 9 routes i.e from Kempegowda Bus Station, Hebbala, Koramangala, HAL, Whitefield, Electronic City, MCTC Bus Station,  J.P.Nagar 6th Phase, Jeevan Bhimanagar,  with limited bus stops  for BIAL Services. We are planning to increase the  frequency of the services  in future. BMTC  is planning to construct Hubs at Hebbal & Shanthinagar  for smooth operation of BIAL Services.

BMTC is  trying its best to operate its services on time to BIAL &  due to traffic Jams & Road blocks/deviations there may be delay in the  operation of scheduled timings of the services  which are beyond the control of BMTC.  However I  assure that  most care is taken to operate BIAL services on time.

Your suggestions  are well taken  and will be implemented for  further improvement of BIAL  services .

Looking forward for your continued patronage.

Thanking you,

           With regards

    (Dastagir Sharieff)
Chief Traffic Manager(O)



surajshekar's picture

Correction- Not all are Volvos

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Extremely sorry for the error. I just went by what was posted on one of the blogs where it said a volvo service. Upon seeing the photos, I could make out that most of them are normal A/C Leyland or TATA buses and not volvos. But still a decent fare as long as the A/C works 

s_yajaman's picture

Trip to and back from BIAL including BIAL experience

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Returned from a trip to Bombay yesterday evening and had the chance to experience BIAL 10 days after start-up

a. My experience with Airlift has already been blogged elsewhere on this site. I took my trusted neighbourhood taxi who turned up at 4:00 a.m. to drop me. To be fair Airlift called me when I was in Bombay and apologised and has promised to refund my entire money. I plan to call them back and offer my suggestions as everyone deserves a second chance.

b. It took me 50 mins in the wee hours of the morning to cover the 48 km from my house to BIAL. Lighting has been put till Yelahanka but beyond that it is pitch dark. Apparently accidents have been on the rise - from my taxi driver.

c. I reached BIAL at about 5:25 - peak hour. What a contrast with HAL at the same time. For those who reach HAL at that time, queues used to be outside the door. BIAL had all doors functioning. Finished check in in about 10 mins and found myself jobless!.

d. Security was done in 5 mins. On the other side, it was fairly crowded but found sitting place. Nothing too bad. Baristas had brisk business. I wish they had added about 5000 m2 to the departure lounge. If flights get delayed due to fog, etc it can get very bad. Alternatively there is a lot of space before security - add about 300 seats there with a coffee bar.

e. Flight took off 20 mins late due to push back delays. GroundGlobe not there yet.

f. On the way back, flight landed at 5:25. Reached the bay at 5:30. Aerobridge docked within 3 mins. Out of the plane at 5:35. Bags on belt by the time I reached it. Had my bag at 5:40. Out of airport before 5:45. Spoke to a Jet ground staff lady. She said that things were falling into place now.

g. Took a taxi back home. Left BIAL at 5:50. Reached home at 7:40 p.m. Bad traffic from Ganganagar onwards. Lots of jams due to vehicles queuing at the entrance to petrol bunks. About 1 hr and 50 mins for the trip. About 20 mins more than what it would have taken me from HAL at the same time.

I can live with that. I think BIAL is getting there.


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

Naveen's picture


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Thanks for the info.

Do you think AirLift is reliable yet ? I am not sure as I see most are using Meri & Easy cabs, or the BMTC buses. I am also due to depart & have been wondering how to make the trip :)'s picture

Nice one there

228 users have liked.

Nice report Srivathsa. Thanks for that.

Soo positive and easy going that one. Glad to know that BIAL is getting there.



s_yajaman's picture

I would not depend on Airlift for now

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I would not depend on Airlift for now.  They still need to get their act together.  I think it is a good concept but they don't seem to have understood how to execute this reliably. 

My taxi charged me Rs.750 one way for the  48 km.  About Rs.15/km. 

There seem to be a decent number of Meru and Easy cabs on the move.  You should be able to hire one of them. 


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

Vasanth's picture

New Zoom Service to Airport - Report from Deccan Herald

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Now 'Zoom' to new airport

Now 'Zoom' to new airport
Bangalore, DHNS:
Bangaloreans have yet another option to travel and reach the BIA (Bengaluru International Airport) in a hassle-free manner...

Zoom Airport Express (ZAE), a City-based taxi/cab operator on Wednesday announced the launch of a exclusive pick-up and drop facility to and from the new airport at Devanahalli.

TPRS Prasad of ZAE said the 24/7 service, operational from June 5, will initially start from K R Road and later extended to Indiranagar, BTM Layout, Koramangala, Whitefield, HSR Layout, Outer Ring Road, Hebbal and Malleswaram.

"We have established eight ‘Transfer Lounges’ where-in passengers would be picked up from their home, taken to the lounges and car-pooled to BIA. Twenty-two vehicles (8 Tata Wingers an d 12 Tata Indica cars) have been inducted into our fleet," Mr Prasad informed. He added that corporates such as Infosys have evinced interest in their services. However, they are independent of the taxi services offered by the BIA. ZAE will charge Rs 222 as fixed fare for the facility, with a frequency of 30 minutes each. Call 0080-6566 11999 for details.


murali772's picture

can you get BMTC to do this much?

226 users have liked.
Dear Mr George Mathew

I was not too sure I wanted to respond to your posting since the debates on PRAJA have generally been on a diffrent plane, which point apparently you have missed. Whatever, I cannot ignore your views as a user of BMTC's services.

Firstly, I presume you are the same person who has supported my views on 'organised retail'. Now, the people in organised retail are equally big money bags - TATAs, Reliance, Future group, etc. How come your phobia over the entry of these giants into the public bus transport services sector does not extend to their entry into the retail sector, where you have gone on to elaborate on how things can improve vastly for the farmers.

You have stated that BMTC has steadily improved its services over the years. Has anybody disputed that? Not me, whatever. And, quite like you, most present users are content with just that. I had sensed this very clearly as the car-using co-Chairman of BMTC's CCTF, which otherwise was populated by bus users. Now, if BMTC is just to cater to the needs of these people and the likes of you, it can carry on in the present fashion - no problem. But, with it catering to just 45% odd (in my opinion, it's much lower) trips made by the citizens on the whole, and the city population growing at a tremendous pace, the remaining 55% are are going to get our roads progressively more cluttered than they presently with the usage of personalised means of transport. So, if there has to be a solution, we have to get these people to switch to using the public bus transport services, at least for commuting, which cannot happen unless there is a quantum improvement in its quality, much above the present level. Appealing to the people's conscience over environmental issues can work for say 10%, higher fuel cost can contribute may be another 15%, but the bulk 75% conversion can happen on account of this one factor alone.

You may ask why not get BMTC to improve its services? Perhaps you are aware that I tried for over 2 years in the capacity of the co-Chairman of BMTC's CCTF (Commuter Comfort Task Force), and there was very little that the CCTF could achieve. Many others want to try their hand at it - wonderful. Leave alone any quantum change, I will be happy if anyone can even get them to display the route numbers in internationally recognisable Arabic numerals on the buses prominently. They can continue to display the route names only in Kannada as per the dictates of organisations like the KRV (Kannada Rakshana Vedike), though in the process they will lose out on the custom of the huge non-Kannada speaking floating population, but the least they can do is to display the route numbers prominently as stated above. Can we hope for that?

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
George E Matthew's picture

Performance Along matters

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Dear Mr Murlidhar Rao,

The reason why I advocated different approaches for food distribution and public transport is the difference in performance in govt. agencies responsible.

In case of public transport, the govt has failed as a regulator. RTO has failed, and a new transit authority will also fail. Thus private involvement in running buses is not a good idea. The government has succeded in running services to some extent, as evidenced by BMTC/KSRTC. That is why I support govt run public transport. To improve customer interaction, I had suggested a PPP which will give the best of both worlds. A private organiztion, having wet leased BMTC vehicles, canchooses its own routes, as well as provide much better response to individual customer demands.The crucial safety aspect is still in govt. hands. I have no confidence in private bus operators, organized or unorganized. Just look at the Mangalore train and their lobbying to see how selfish and greedy they are.We do not want to risk our lives in their hands.

In case of agricultural products, FCI/ration system has FAILED. That is why Reliance/Big Bazaar/WalMart etc. are required. Besides, there is no safety aspect here.

 Thanks everyone for participating in this discussion. 

George E Matthew 

murali772's picture

basis for a thesis

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Dear Mr George Matthew

So, government servants in public transport areas are angels, but when it comes to FCI/ PDS etc, they are all crooks.

And, corporates like TATAs, Reliance, Big Bazaar, etc are angels when it comes to retail, but will turn crooks if allowed entry into public bus transport services.

These can possibly form the basis for a thesis, and that's why I had stated that you are on a different plane compared to most on Praja.

Your 'wet lease' theory, the theory that there are no safety issues with regard to food supplies (perhaps the food adulteration act, etc need to be scrapped) are all of a piece.

Good luck to you.

Muralidhar Rao

PS: Incidentally, TATAs have emerged as the 6th most reputed company in the world (up from 124 last year) ranked by US-based Reputation Institute. I expect you have your own theories on that also.
Muralidhar Rao
vmenon's picture

privatisation..just no consensus??

258 users have liked.

This thing of privatisation is a bigger thing than one would imagine, even  in a some what more stratight forward area like bus transport!!

I believe in the "competetion "model for this sector so take that into acount for this poost.

leaving aside the  issues outside of the BMTC( road infrastructure, bustands etc )

--Are there "x" things that a BMTC can and should do currently at an intrenal organisatuion level, under the present situations that can change the situation on the ground..and if they are not doing why not>

To put down  a few,

Bus numbering/driver adherence to laws buststops and on lane./bus include shuttle services , punctuality etc.

If it really felt that these changes can be brought about by internal reengineering , than by all means , privatisation isue is a indeed a small matter .

And  internal reeningeering, would have to mean that BMTC has ideas , the will , the organisdational heirarchy and essentially amethod to bring about changes..changes not at an incremental lelvel , but at a paradigm shift level.


so the question for the praja task force is , can this change be brought about by internal pressures or does it need an extrenl environmetal change ...ala privatisation /competetion .


I would really , really like to hear of methods to bring about a raducal sea change in the internal organistion , if external pressures are not to be followed.


here is a thought..spin off a separate divison/identity within  BMTC for shuttle services ..with different norms of organisation behavior.a different brand , so to say.

In this "new" identity enroll a diffrent nmechanism of customer servcie parameters setting...have citizens, ngos , external experts as the startegic body.see if this works.

enuf said  








murali772's picture

a compromise

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Vijayan (welcome back)

This is what Indian Airlines once tried - what was it called - I forget. Quite forgettable actually - did not exactly set the skies ablaze. The real difference happened after competition (from the private players) was set in. And then, it was a sea change.

Likewise, I don't think a BMTC subsidiary for shuttle services will set the Bangalore roads ablaze, either. But, if the politicos refuse to look at allowing effective competition, these can be looked at as compromises. But, sadly, compromises they will remain.

Privatisation (rather, effective competition from reputed private players) is the big ticket reform that has necessarily to happen if we are to find solutions to our burgeoning traffic problems. There's no other way.

Muralidhar Rao

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