The metro might dazzle, but there are some feisty Bangaloreans on the very route who cling to the same old rusty buses. With very good reason too.
This reporter hopped onto a BMTC bus, which left Byappanahalli bus-stand at 10.53 a.m. on Monday, reaching M.G. Road at 11.18 a.m., covering the distance in about 25 minutes. The bus journey, costing Rs. 9, was quite smooth, apart from the odd traffic snarl en route. Apart from the stops at traffic lights, the bus halted at six stops for anything between 10 to 50 seconds for passengers.
Last Saturday afternoon, the same bus took 31 minutes.
Veena Saroja, who boards the bus at the Byappanahalli bus-stand every working day to Shivajinagar, says her bus pass is still valid. Besides, there's a bus available every other minute. “I need to go to Shivajinagar. If I take the metro, I will have to either walk the distance or take an auto. So, the bus is convenient.” Another commuter, Pooja Shetty, who was on her way to M.G. Road to shop — which she does twice a week — thinks the metro is a waste of time. “I don't have the patience to wait in those never-ending lines just to get a token.” When pointed out there's a smart card available for the metro, she said she didn't know about it.
Business as usual
The BMTC crew said so far the metro hasn't made any dent. “Neither has the number of passengers reduced nor the traffic jams,” quipped the conductor.