Bangalore has a local train option!!!

Was chatting with a pal of mine who works on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) – his office is right behind the JP Morgan building. This guy lives in Fraser Town, and has started driving recently (a biker all his adult life so far – rides a Pulsar and a scooterette as well) and started feeling the stress that accompanies driving in the city.

What he told me totally took me by surprise – apparently he tried out a train from Bangalore East – which is close to his home – to Krishnarajapuram and then took a BMTC bus to his office. Saved money, time and huge amounts of stress! Even more surprising – it seems a lot of folks who work on the OMR (Old Madras Road) and live anywhere along the railway line – Cantonment, Bangalore East, Byapanahalli, etc – take this option regularly with the last leg on foot/bus. Fare to KJM – 2/- 🙂 Time : 10 mins flat!

Found an appropriate map with the tracks and localities marked along that route.

I guess it can actually work for a whole lot of people who travel to the OMR/ORR/Whitefield area, and we’re not even talking about extra expenditure on a Metro etc.

One “downside” he mentioned is that one needs to plan a little in advance, there’s a train approximately on the hour! Hey thats not bad at all. even in a car or on a motorcycle we end up trying to factor in traffic conditions and plan leaving home at certain hours to beat the rush. Whichever mode of transport you use, there’s a little bit of working around its mechanics and optimization one learns in a week or so.

I’m thrilled that existing railway infrastructure is being used by commuters, and that many cars are effectively being kept off the roads. The trains are quite empty though at least a few dozen people use them already – so go ahead and try this option as well. At least from KJM there are buses along the ORR every couple of minutes. I’m nor certain but Whitefield Station may work well too for that area, or KJM might have buses going there.

Now all we need is a few pull-push services on the same tracks including connections to other parts of B’lore railways network, and integrated ticketing with the BMTC. Tall order, given that a central and a city organization will need to collaborate on this, but from the positive action I’ve heard about from BMTC’s end, it’s definitely not impossible :)’

[ Addendum : while I’m dreaming, a bike park-rent station at KJM/Whitefield would rock for the office goers in that area. Train + ride. Maybe even a cycle-carriage on the train itself, someday ? ]

[ Even more : followed the tracks around Bangalore even more. Its all connected! The univ – BSK – City – Malleshwaram – Yeswantpur – Hebbal – East/Cantt – OMR – Whitefield – Banaswadi – Bellandur – Sarjapura Road – Chandapura. Oh the possibilities! 5-6 3 rake trains going around continuously will solve a lot of pain. Just ensure good bus connections and it’ll cover a lot of this city. ]

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