Namma Bengaluru Bengaluru

Satellite bus stations fail to take off

A view of demolished KSRTC Satellite bus stand at Byappanahalli. Photo: Sudhakara Jain  

Bengaluru: The Byappanahalli Satellite Bus Station, which is the start point for buses heading in the direction of Kolar and Andhra Pradesh, has been razed by the KSRTC. The bus station was built by KSRTC in 2010 at a cost of Rs. 1.2 crore. The nine-acre plot was handed over to Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL) last weekend.

A senior BMRCL land acquisition officer told The Hindu that the plot belonged to the company and was returned to them. “Besides this nine acres, we have an additional 15 acres in the area. We are planning to build a depot on this land,” he said.

A KSRTC (Operations) official said that the bus station was under-utilised as passengers preferred to board buses at Tin Factory. This brought down the number of buses starting from Byappanahalli, leading to its closure and eventual demolition.

Meera K., a resident of Thippasandra, said that while east Bengaluru has better rail connectivity with railway stations in Banaswadi, K.R. Puram and Byappanahalli, it lacks good bus connectivity. “With the closure of this bus stand, the area will suffer further on this count,” she said.

The demolition comes close on the heels of the ceasing of operations at Basaveshwara Satellite Bus Station in Peenya, which was the starting point for buses bound to Ballari, Davanagare and Hubballi.

“The Peenya bus station should have been ideally located on Tumakuru Road,” says Sanjeev Dyamannavar, an urban commuter expert and resident of north Bengaluru.

The only operational satellite bus stations are on Mysuru Road and in Shanti Nagar.

Decongesting Majestic a pipe dream

All plans to decentralise inter-modal transport hubs and decongest the crowded Majestic area seem to have failed as two satellite bus stations built on highways leading out of the city have ceased operations.

With Byappanahalli satellite bus station demolished and Peenya satellite bus station non-operational, buses operating from these hubs are back at Majestic, adding to the chaos.

Sources in KSRTC squarely blame the failure on the private bus lobby. “While our start points were moved to the outskirts, the pick-up points of private buses remain within the city. In many cases, private operators pick up passengers at several points on the route. Commuters obviously opt for the nearest pick-up point, thereby killing satellite bus stations,” a senior KSRTC official said.

Though urban commute experts seem to agree with KSRTC on that point, they add that the satellite bus stations were badly planned. “Majestic is well connected with all parts of the city. KSRTC built satellite stations but failed to improve connectivity. In most cases, commuters need to change two or three buses to reach a satellite station if they live in the other end of town, which sabotages the concept,” said Sanjeev Dyammanavar, urban commute expert. For instance, a person living in north Bengaluru needs to change three buses to reach Byappanahalli.

Two satellite stations planned at Yelahanka and Silk Board Junction never took off.

Urban planners say that now more than ever, there is a need to revive such hubs. “Even suburbs are getting overcrowded, which can be addressed by better inter-modal transport facilities. But KSRTC and BMTC are unable to co-ordinate services to satellite bus stations,” says Pawan Mulukutla, urban mobility researcher, World Resources Institute (WRI).

Mr. Dyammanavar suggests having a satellite bus station on every national highway leading out of the city – Hosur Road, Old Madras Road, Ballari Road, Tumakuru Road, Mysuru Road – and even Kanakapura Road.

Majestic Inter-modal

Kempegowda Bus Station: Nerve centre of BMTC and KSRTC

Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station

Kempegowda Metro Station: Interchange of Purple and Green Lines

Plan for satellite bus stations

Location

Catering to buses towards

Status of station

Mysuru Road

Mysuru, Tamil Nadu, Kerala

Started in 2005, most successful

Shanti Nagar

Kerala

Successful

Byappanahalli

Kolar, Andhra Pradesh

Demolished

Peenya

Davanagere, Hubballi, Ballari

Ceased operations

Yelahanka

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Failed to take off

Silk Board, Hosur Road

Tamil Nadu

Failed to take off


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