If everything goes as per the plan, 2023 could see a major milestone in the commercial operations of Namma Metro. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) is likely to open close to 40 km of lines under Phase II for the public. Two major IT corridors in the city - Whitefield and Electronics City - will be linked with metro services after years of delay.
As per the plans, by mid-2023, two lines - the extended Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitfield (15 km) and the new Yellow Line from R.V. Road to Bommasandra (19 km) - will be opened to the public.
As part of the Electronics City metro line, the BMRCL has built a metro-cum-road flyover between Ragigudda and Silk Board. The BMRCL has partially started trials on the Whitefield line.
Other lines that are expected to open are Kengeri to Challaghatta of the Purple Line on Mysuru Road and Hesarghatta Cross to Madavara on the Green Line on Tumakuru Road. The total length of these two lines is over 4 km.
At present, a 55-km metro line is operational in the city. Between 2011 and 2018, the BMRCL operated 42 km of metro lines under Phase I.
Under Phase II, only 13 km metro lines were opened to the public in 2021: Silk Institute to Yelachenehalli on the Green Line and Mysuru Road to Kenger under the Purple Line.
Under Phase II, the BMRCL is building a network of 72 km, which include Kalena Agrahara to Nagawara with a 14-km tunnel network. Another 55 km metro line under Phase II A and B is under construction from Central Silk Board to Kempegowda International Airport via K.R. Puram , Nagawara, and Hebbal.
BMRCL MD Anjum Parwez said that opening of two major lines linking Whitefield and Electronics City will help in decongesting the traffic in a big way as lakhs of people would shift to metro for commuting.
He said that metro ridership would cross 10 lakh per day once both the lines become operational.
More electric buses to hit the road
The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is likely to induct more non-AC electric buses under the FAME-2 scheme of the Union government.
The corporation has signed an agreement with TATA Motors for operating 921 electric buses. The BMTC has already inducted 390 buses under the Smart City project and FAME. The year is also likely to see the re-introduction of double-decker buses on the city roads.
The BMTC is also planning to run a number of mini buses for providing metro feeder services and interior locations where roads are narrow.
Constitution of BMLTA
In the Winter Session, both houses of the Karnataka Legislature passed the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority Bill -2022 and that has given hope that in the future, the proposed authority would address various issues pertaining to urban mobility.
The authority, which will be headed by the Chief Minister, has over 20 members, including heads of various departments, the Transport Minister, Bengaluru in-charge Minister, experts, and representatives from citizen groups. The primary objective is regulation of the development, operation, maintenance, monitoring, and supervision of urban mobility by giving directions to agencies concerned such as BBMP,BDA, BMTC,BMRCL and others.
The implementation of a comprehensive mobility policy is to encourage people to shift to mass transit systems and non-motorized sustainable transport systems.