It’s a long and tiresome 90 minutes from Marathahalli to Banashankari

It is 6.30 p.m. and Marathahalli bridge is buzzing. Vendors snake through increasingly heavy traffic, tempting software engineers, researchers and other working professionals heading home after a day at work, with their variety of snacks. And they don’t even have to try too hard.

As Prathima K., a software engineer who works near Marathahalli says as she gulps down a glass of water: “We had better eat and drink to brace ourselves for the ride back home.”

We get into an autorickshaw at the bridge and brace ourselves for our ride too; our destination is Banashankari bus-stop, a daunting 24 kilometres away. Google Maps claims the journey will take a little over 40 minutes, but looking at the traffic, we’re sceptical.

Marathahalli bridge

We join scores of motorcycles, cars and swanky Volvo buses — ordinary buses are rare — on the road. Private mini van and buses drivers are a common sight at the Marathahalli bridge — their owners have seized the chance to cater to a restless IT crowd, who rush towards the first bus or van they see.

Crowded buses

As we reach the Belandur flyover, people from various IT parks in the area throng the already crowded buses. We feel lucky that in the auto we have some much-needed lung space (as polluted as the air might be). Sticking our head out of the autorickshaw, we see a man in his car busy working on his laptop, some comfortably settled in the bus catching up on some sleep, others busy reading a book, or having their earphones plugged in.

Traffic jams

By the time we get to Sarjapur Road, tempers and blood pressure are rising because of the traffic snarls. That there are no traffic personnel to manage the flow of traffic only makes thinks worse.

It takes about 50 minutes to reach the Silk Board junction, where you can’t but feel sorry for regular commuters. It is complete chaos as vehicles from Hosur Road and the city join the traffic — it takes us 10 minutes just to move ahead a few metres there.

Our autorickshaw driver wants to give up, and who can blame him. Finally, passing through BTM Layout and Jayanagar 6th block, we finally reach the Banashankari bus stand, which greets us weary travellers like a mirage.

The entire journey took us 90 minutes, at an average speed of 15.9 kmph. We are only glad that this is a trip we had to make only once.

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