In a move aimed at decongesting roads in the city and improve connectivity between various cities and the suburbs, the State government has proposed to purchase 4,684 buses and develop transport infrastructure at an estimated cost of Rs. 2,919 crore.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who launched BIG Trunk Bus Services of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) at the Vidhana Soudha on Monday, said the government had submitted a proposal to the Centre seeking funds to purchase 2,500 buses to Bangalore city under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

62 for a start

BMTC has now launched 62 BIG Trunk buses. To begin with, they will operate from Hosur Road to provide connectivity to nearly three lakh commuters. This is expected to improve services to employees in Electronics City, Bommasandra, Attibele and Chandapura.

The buses will arrive every 2-3 minutes and services will be operated from 3.45 a.m. to 11.45 p.m.

The Chief Minister said Bangalore has nearly 2,400 bus routes. This is significantly higher than other cities of similar size and with similar bus ridership number such as Seoul (500 routes), London (700 routes) and Shanghai (1,000 routes).

Currently, BMTC operates 6,500 buses on 2,400 routes, an average of only 2.7 buses per route.

BIG network

Minister for Transport Ramalinga Reddy said BIG Bus Network consisted of four types of services — Big Trunk (high frequency services along the 12 major arterial roads in Bangalore); Big Circle (high frequency circular services on the Outer Ring Road); Big City (high frequency routes serving high demand, high density corridors in the city centre) and Big Connect (high frequency connectivity between arterial roads beyond ORR).

He said Big Trunk buses operate between Kempe Gowda Bus Station and Electronics City, KBS and Chandapura and KBS and Attibele Circle. The route has been designated as KBS-3E (KBS to Electronics City); KBS-3 (KBS to Chandapura) and KBS-3A (KBS to Attibele).

Second phase

In the second phase, BigConnect services would be launched using a new fleet of exclusively designed mini-buses. The BigConnect routes would provide connectivity from Hosur Road to adjacent arterial corridors of Sarjapur Road and Bannerghatta Road (which would eventually have their own BigTrunk routes). The BIG Bus network would result in a 52 per cent reduction in the number of routes that serves these corridors, Mr. Reddy said.

Sources in BMTC said the project aims to increase local connectivity with minimum change of buses, thereby, encouraging more people to use public transport.