Bangalore goes ‘Metro’

Bangalore's Namma Metro logo

I can’t call it as a proud moment, but it was a kind of happy expectation of something new happening in Bangalore. It is supposed to a new means of transport for the city at the verge of losing its nerves over traffic hassles. I decided to take my first Metro ride early Sunday morning (23rd October 2011), hoping that there would be less people thronging the Metro stations to take the ride. As usual my early morning plan got delayed due to my extended sleep and I reached the M G Road Metro station at 9:00AM.

There were quite a number of people, families like on a picnic day, all eager and thoroughly in awe of the plush M G Road Metro station. I had made my plan to take a ride from M G Road to Byappanahalli (current terminus) and back. I reached the ticket counter and asked for a return trip ticket but to my surprise the guy at the counter told me the return trip ticket has to be purchased at Byappanahalli. So I paid my fare of 15 INR from M G Road to Byappanahalli and was rewarded with a small round black token which had a plastic feel to it. I swiped the token over the sensor to let open the gates at the entrance to the stairs/escalators to allow me to the next level, though there were sentries at that point who were guiding people on how to swipe the token over the sensor to proceed further. I took the stairs to the next level and was suddenly overwhelmed by all the signboards, decorations, dozen security personnel and many commuters that it took some time for me to get my direction right and head towards Platform 1. Two security personnel at the platform were desperately trying to control the crowd to stay behind the yellow line. It was just a few seconds and the Metro train arrived at the platform at 9:10 AM. The people were more than eager to enter the train that they could not wait for it to open. One actually even was about to try to pry open the door when the automatic doors opened, and as is our custom the crowd just barged inside without caring for the elderly or the young ones. I took the last car of the train and preferred to stand at the end. After about 30-40 seconds of waiting time, the Metro rolled on its track. The interiors are sufficient, good looking and are no different from what I had seen in Singapore. The speed of the travel is also sufficient, though there are some harrowing curves in the 12 minute ride. The public address system inside the Metro train is good with announcements in English, Kannada and Hindi in the same order. There are also visuals indicating the upcoming station. It was a hassle free good ride.

Inside Bangalore's Metro Train

When all is good, the real success of this Metro can be gauged only when all the phases are complete. Even then, the reliability of the last-mile connectivity is an important factor for Bangaloreans to take the Metro. I hope in the other phases the number of curves in the tracks is reduced. One action for the general public is to not only cherish this property but also to maintain it. One gentleman in the last car of Metro that I travelled in was stress-testing the overhead handgrips to the extent that I feared the Metro would take its first tear.

Automatic doors of the Metro Train

I am eagerly waiting for the Metro to cover most parts of Bangalore. It should add enormous value to the life of Bangaloreans by making commuting less of a hassle. Take the Namma Metro ride, and know what is in store for us in the future.

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~ by Jayanthan Ravi on October 27, 2011.

4 Responses to “Bangalore goes ‘Metro’”

  1. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! Cant wait to set my foot into the Metro 🙂 I have seen the snail paced work going on for 3 years near my office at M.G.Road and even wondered sarcastically if I would be alive to travel in it, or will only my children and grandchildren be the privileged Metro passengers, alas it proved my thoughts wrong.. Great to see it rolling and delighted to hear ur first experiences… It looks pretty chic and seems of international standards. I just hope people now show some decency and be better maintained than our BMTC buses and trains 🙂

  2. Hey Jay, thanks once again, for what your share,
    cant wait to get in for that ride, I still remember how the times had a picture of how bangalore could look with a metro in mg road, cant believe seeing it now for real. Actually we should have had it much before, before delhi … Our shankar nag had a proporsal in the 80s, too bad we had too many wise politicians, then.

  3. Hi bro .
    I will be settling down in Bangalore at whitefield and I’m from Singapore .
    Will be settling down with my small family of 3.

    A few questions for u .
    Hope u can assist me .

    1. I need to enrol my son for 7th standard. Any schools that has Tamil as 2nd language within the neighbourhood or in Bangalore ? English should be the main language .

    2. Is Bangalore a safe place ? I would be in an apartment in whitefield .
    Let me know ur humble opinion.
    As for myself, I’m a Simple person with a low profile .

    Kindly assist me in this questions
    Thanks brother .

    • Hi Ganesh,

      Welcome to Bangalore. Let me try to answer your questions

      1. Bangalore does have few schools that gave Tamil as a subject (Kumarans for example), but I’m not sure about any in your neighborhood. Whitefield is kind of in the outskirts (suburbs?) of Bangalore.
      2. Bangalore is like any metropolitan city in India, but more or less safe. Whitefield is near the edge of the city, bordering on the outskirts, but is well connected by roads and buses. You will find large number of people from various parts of the country and the world.

      You can write to me at jayanthanr@gmail.com for any further assistance.

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