Thursday 19 October 2017 News Updated at 07:10 AM IST
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A long way home - Deccan Herald
A long way home
Nina C George, DH News Service,
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DeccanHerald
Commuting in Bengaluru becomes a nightmare whenever it rains. Amidst endless traffic jams and elusive autorickshaws and cabs, the Metro appears to be the best option but the downpour makes the last-mile connectivity a challenge.

Alight a Metro and one of the biggest problems one faces is hailing an autorickshaw or cab or boarding a Metro feeder bus. The handful of autos that are parked in front of a few Metro stations, such as Indiranagar, Halasuru, Cubbon Park and Mantri Mall, don’t run by the meter and charge exorbitant rates, while the frequency of the Metro feeder buses makes them an unreliable option.

Keertana Ramu, a nutritionist with Fast & Up, says she dreads commuting in the city when it rains. "Whenever it rains, the Metro seems to be the best choice but the difficult part comes after getting off. There aren’t enough feeder buses and autorickshaws charge not less than Rs 200 to Rs 300 even to nearby locations,” she rues, adding that because of the poor last-mile connectivity, it is difficult to commute from most of the Metro stations unless one has one’s own vehicle.

Regular Metro Rail commuters like Abhishek K P, a software professional, say that it is almost impossible to get Metro feeder buses and autorickshaws when it rains. "I have seen feeder buses at Baiyappanahalli Metro Station in the morning but there aren’t any in the evening. I may spot one or two after 7 pm but now even that is a rarity. There is no frequency to speak of,” Abhishek says. He observes that the Metro is now being used by a lot of people but the feeder buses have not been increased in number to meet the demand.

The handful of feeder buses that are stationed at some of the Metro stations not only carry passengers alighting from the Metro trains but also oblige others, says Sudha Rao, a homemaker. "I regularly travel from Swami Vivekananda Road Metro station to Majestic but almost all the feeder buses on this route ply in a different direction and not the way that most of the commuters want to go. These buses are almost always packed because a lot of other people use them too. I feel the Metro users should be the sole passengers,” says Sudha.

A senior official with BMRCL, who didn’t want to be named, says that Metro feeder buses are stationed at Baiyappanahalli, M G Road, Swami Vivekananda Road and Nagasandra Metro stations. "These stations have carriageways and it is easier for Metro feeder buses to drive in and out. But it is difficult to have the feeder buses in the heart of the city at Trinity, Halasuru, Jayanagar and Indiranagar Metro Stations because of space constraints,” says the official. He adds that there is a plan to have pre-paid autorickshaw stands in front of every Metro station. "This will ensure that the commuters have a viable option to travel to their respective destinations. It will also avoid complaints of overcharging by auto drivers,” he says.


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