Namma Metro welcomes inter-modal transport system
Bengaluru needs a vast network of inter-modal transport to make it comfortable for passengers to travel long distances to work. Part of this network is the suburban service around Bengaluru. Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has welcomed a proposal to have suburban services as feeder services to Metro as this would then make it easier for passengers to shift from one mode of transport to another.
City Development Minister K J George had recently said that the State government is mulling suburban transport service from Mandya to Kengeri, Tumakuru to Peenya and Whitefield to Baiyappanali to ferry people in the suburbs to city central areas. He said that lot of people can use the metro services if these suburban trains connect the Metro stations.
Namma Metro officials feel this could work. BMRCL general manager (finance) and chief spokesperson Vasanth Rao says: “We will be more than happy if such a connection is made. We are looking towards the establishment of an inter-modal system not only to enhance ridership on Metro, but even on suburban rail too. If passengers are guaranteed that there will be a Metro waiting for them as soon as they get off a suburban train, both suburban and Metro will benefit.”
The three lines proposed, say the officials, will generate very good traffic with people travelling from outskirts to workplaces in the centre of the city such as garment factories, IT / ITES companies, small and medium scale factories and schools. Jobs in these sectors run into thousands. A good connectivity from the outskirts would be an incentive to travel by suburban trains and take the Metro.
Peenya and Mysuru Road have scores of garment factories to which people travel from Mandya, Nelamangala and Tumakuru. Given this employment scenario, inter-modal transport would be the best solution.
One caution that the Namma Metro officials put forward is the comfort factor. “All modes of transport should be comfortable. If there is a large difference, people may hesitate to take the form of transport that is not comfortable. Our trains are generally air-conditioned, so we expect people to prefer that over bus. Buses are heavily packed and apart from Volvos, the bus system is not air-conditioned. We have to see how this works. The suburban trains may also be fairly comfortable as they are not as packed as buses. If all three systems work in tandem, the inter-modal transport model will work,” says a senior official.
For the connectivity to work effectively, the distance between the Metro station and the suburban station should not be too much, says the official. A 50-metre walk from station to station is fine, and this can go up to even 200 metres, but if it is beyond that and goes upto 400 or 500 metres, there are chances that people may hesitate to walk that long.
The State government, suggests the official, must plan the distances well for the inter-modal transport to work. Namma Metro, he reiterates, is all for an integrated transport system consisting of the suburban rail, Metro and the buses which should take care of the last-mile connectivity.