[Pics] Bangalore Metro Starts Underground Metro Operations

Bangalore Metro yesterday started commercial operations on its new 4.8 km underground section from either end of the 18.1 km Purple line! Being a Saturday morning, ridership was slow to pickup, but really started to soar in the afternoon and evening as people began turning up for a joy ride on the smoothest cross-town transportation system in the city.

Operations were advertised and supposed to start at 6 am, but there was one report of the first train departing Baiyappanahalli at 5:48 am. Enthusiastic users across social media reported their journey to clock between 36 and 40 minutes which is a little more than the promised 33 minutes, but not likely to fetch any complaints given the city’s manic traffic. At the end of the day, ridership clocked 93,526 passengers and fetched the BMRCL a little over Rs 35 lakhs.

BangaloreMetroAfter

Operational map of Bangalore’s Metro ; Underground section spans between Magadi Road – MG Road

The 5 new stations added to the network include: City Railway station, Kempegowda Majestic station, Sir. M Visveshwaraya Central College station, Dr. BR Ambedkar Vidhana Soudha and Cubbon Park.

To start off, here’s a brilliant video shot between Magadi Road and MG Road stations that you must watch:

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Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: The Hindu

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Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: Deccan Herald

Photo Copyright: Deccan Herald

Photo Copyright: New Indian Express

Photo Copyright: New Indian Express

Photo Copyright: Deccan Chronicle

Photo Copyright: Deccan Chronicle

Photo Copyright: Muthu Ranganathan

Photo Copyright: Muthu Ranganathan

Photo Copyright: One India

Photo Copyright: One India

Photo Copyright: Pradeep Rai

Photo Copyright: Pradeep Rai

Photo Copyright: Shuveshek Rai

Photo Copyright: Shuveshek Rai

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Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: Bhushan Nag

Photo Copyright: Bhushan Nag

at Majestic station - Photo Copyright: Rajesh Kadari

at Majestic station – Photo Copyright: Rajesh Kadari

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Mysore Road – Photo Copyright: Keshava Kamath

I believe the ridership was a little disappointing for Day 1, even though it consisted primarily of joy riders. But hey, it’s only Day 1. Today (Sunday) should hopefully see more users show up as people get wind of the metro, its level of comfort and reach within the city. Monday would be an altogether different day as locals in the metro’s catchment area would integrate it into their commute and more people will experiment and do a cost/benefit analysis over their existing commute. A more realistic picture of the ridership will only emerge and stabilize after a couple of weeks when the initial euphoria dies down.

Have you taken a ride yet? Leave a comment below!

For more updates & images, check out the Bangalore section of The Metro Rail Guy!

– TMRG

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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

31 Responses to "[Pics] Bangalore Metro Starts Underground Metro Operations"

  1. Harish says:

    Took a ride on this stretch between Attiguppe and Trinity circle station. It took 22 minutes precisely and an awsome ride (compared to 45 minutes by 2-wheeler during weekdays). I think this will be a big hit during coming days with daily commuters.

    Reply
  2. Abhishek says:

    I did take a ride. As much as as it is useful though I miss the emptiness that there once was.(just me?).
    Apart from that unruly women who squbballed for a seat and the great ‘adjust maddi ‘ came up and shoved me aside and cramped me and my family. not cool thought of giving her a good talk but left it, as it was first day …

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      That’s not good at all. Glad you let it go as I would have done the same. Proper etiquette in public transportation systems takes time to be infused.

      Reply
  3. Prateek says:

    Hi TMRG! Great work to cover all news reports related to the new line of the Namma Metro! As mentioned earlier, there is a match tomorrow at the Chinnaswamy Stadium at 8pm and I wanted to utilise the metro services. Many people have given it a thumbs up to the new service and I also want to experience the metro service as well.
    I am currently put up in Kalyan Nagar in east Bangalore, and from there to Baiyappanahalli takes only 15 minutes by auto. So, I hope I can feel the experience of using the metro from there to Baiyappanahalli. Just wanted to know how much time will it take from Baiyappanahalli to Cubbon Park? If I leave by 6-6.30, will I reach the stadium by 7.30?
    And one more question to clear my doubt, when will Majestic be connected to the Green Line, since the tunnelling work has now been completed? And will the southern stretch be ready by November, as promised by K.J George Sir?
    Waiting for your kind reply, thanks! 🙂

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, Baiyappanahalli to Cubbon Park should take 16 minutes after which the stadium is a short walk away, so if you arrive at Baiyappanahalli by 6:40 then you should easily be at the stadium by 7:30. Expect a big crowd today! Also, train services have been modified for the IPL and will run until midnight.

      Green line would be connected to Majestic by the end of the year. Their officials are saying 2-3 months, but there’s quite some work left inside the tunnels as well as at Majestic’s north-shaft. The southern stretch would take another year since there are still 2 TBM breakthroughs left to be made between Majestic & Chickpete.

      Reply
      • Srikanth Raghavendra says:

        Hello TMRG,
        I am surprised at your negativity in the completion time frame.Understanding BMRCL constant time delay completion, I still think before the end of this year PHASE 1 should be completed esp now that TBM Godavari has made the breakthrough allowing for the connectivity between the existing lines and Majestic. Yes the south connection may not be over before Rajyotsava day but should be done by 1st Jan 2017. Most of the station work is completed on the south and the 2 TBM’s if make a breakthrough then the line laying and other activities should be completed. Also there is a talk of starting operations when one side of a tunnel is completed ( not sure if it is true ).

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Hi, I’m just saying it how it is. Both TBM breakthroughs are expected to take place by Sept at the latest and there’s no chance of the southern leg being operational in just 3 months given the amount of time it takes for all subsequent activities, testing, inspection etc. That timeframe is unprecedented, even in Delhi.

          Reply
      • Prateek says:

        Thanks a lot! I reached Baiyappanahalli station by 6.50 and reached Cubbon Park by 7.10. Yes, the metro was crowded mainly because of joy riders, office goers and match going lovers were travelling together. Can’t they increase the number of coaches, like how it is in Delhi?
        Well, let us hope that the Green Line stretch also completes on time, if the BMRCL authorities can do a miracle, thus bringing down on the curtains of Phase 1 finally! 😉

        Reply
        • TMRG says:

          Yup, the stations have been designed & built to be 140m long in order to accommodate up to 6 coaches. A typical coach’s length is 22m, so they’ll fit in nicely.

          I believe they’ll test the waters over the next month and then decide on whether to add more coaches or not as that will increase operating and maintenance costs, something which they don’t want to add as they have to repay back the loans they picked up.

          Reply
  4. Raj says:

    Took the ride from Kempegowda-Majestic stn to Cubbon park and Vidhansoudha to Majestic today — Sunday — 1st May evening. Train was damn crowded — almost like Delhi Metro (happy to see that). Most of it was weekend jolly riders like me.

    Some comments:

    1. Sound level of Announcement within bogey was relatively feeble, especially in crowded condition.

    2. All the stations need quite a bit of final touch up.
    a. Kempegowda station doesnot have direct connectivity to bus stand and railway station.
    b. Cubbon park station has 3 or 4 exits. they are not marked properly inside station and some gates are not yet open.
    c. Vidhanasoudha station has many gates — but many of them are not operational. High court side atleast I didnot get through.

    Majestic station had a helping hand walking along ticketing area. Very good initiative especially for 1st time travellers.

    Overall experience was good. Underground stations are very wide and seem to be well planned.

    Reply
  5. Deb says:

    Hi tmrg,
    Thanks for the awesome updates. One question, if some one wants to reach mantri metro station from majestic metro station what is the best option?

    Reply
  6. Narendra DV says:

    Hi,

    I stay in north Bangalore and will not see metro. of A colleague of me, who stays in RR nagar, took the metro from Mysore Road to Byappanahalli and said it saved him a lot of time. My only concern is lack of coordination between BMTC and BMRC. This coordination should have been completed by now, with a single ticket/smart card/monthly pass (as BMTC says).

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, the issue you’ve highlighted is cringe-worthy. It’s so basic, yet our administrators fail to recognize and take action on getting all stakeholders of transit systems together to make everyone’s life a little smoother. Delhi Metro started operations in 2002 and only 14 years later are they coming out with a common card for buses and metro from July. Hope other cities choose to do the same.

      Reply
  7. Murali says:

    According to Vasanthrao sir, Kaveri breakthrough about 100 meters and Krishna tbm 240 meters left. Now its going very slowly. Kaveri TBM almost reached majestic. Not sure why it is taking so much time.

    Reply
  8. Babu says:

    KUDOS TO BMRCL. Metro trains are running jam packed during peak hours. Any proposal to increase the frequency of trains during such peak period?

    Reply
  9. Charulatha says:

    Took the metro today to commute to work. At the City railway station, the downward escalators are yet to be installed. Train was jampacked at 10:20 am. Most of the crowd gets off only at MG road/Indiranagar. Once the green line is connected, more crowd is expected to get in at Majestic.

    I think both the frequency has to be increased and the coaches to be increased. I really miss the emptiness and seat availability that I enjoyed earlier. 🙂

    Metro staff is very helpful and friendly. They courteously guided all with a smile. Not just one or two, but most of them are pleasant.

    Absolutely great work in maintaining this website with all the info. I used to check it regularly once a day to track progress. This stretch of metro connects me to my workplace at Bagmane Tech park with a metro feeder service.

    At Byappanahalli, a map shows the Metro upto MG road. The maps have to get updated/replaced. And with the metro being a really cool public transport service, the security also has to become top-notch. I really hope it is already.

    Reply
  10. Prakash Narayanan says:

    Hi TMRG, thanks a lot for the constant updates. I have been taking the metro to commute from Mysore Road to Byappanahalli from Monday and have thoroughly enjoyed not having to drive for long distance :). One thing I observed is that BMRCL is being adaptive. Depending upon the number of people they see in the platform they are increasing the frequency, I observed once that the train started 7 minutes earlier from mysore road than shown in the display owing to the crowd.

    They do announce at Majestic that people can get off there to catch the green line. I genuinely hope nobody attempts doing that atleast until the work is finished in the tunnel :).

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Thanks for the on-ground report! Yes, they’ve been switching frequency throughout the day, with reports of 5, 7 & 10 minutes. It’s funny that they’re running announcements which can easily be turned off for the time being. That’s an easier thing to do unlike in Delhi where they’ve already replaced all in-train maps to show new interchanges which are at least 1 year away from being operational!

      Reply
      • Prakash Narayanan says:

        Hi TMRG,

        Quite surprising that even in Delhi metro they have such glaring mistakes of putting up new maps before they are operational. One gripe though is about the lack of proper planned parking spaces in the stations. The parking area in mysore road station is just a vacant land and I read that they have invited tender now to start construction of a parking area. I don’t know why they could not plan the parking upfront and have it ready before the first day of operations itself. Its not like they did not know the amount of expected commuters.

        Reply
  11. Muthu says:

    Hi TMRG,

    Curious to know if you would know what is the typical carrying capacity of a 3 coach train such that people are comfortably standing? The following link http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/railways/bangalore-metro-rail-corporation-limited-could-double-number-of-metro-coaches/articleshow/52119006.cms
    seems to put the number to be too large at 975. On my couple of days travel, I estimated that a reasonably crowded train (with no pushing) of 3 rakes can carry somewhere between 500-600 people. But 975 can perhaps be achieved only if it really jam packed with people pushing each other. Given that, with the N-S line being connected sometime in Sept/Oct, do you think even with 3 min frequency, BMRCL would be able to meet the demand of 2.5-3L? Obviously waiting for 7L as in teh above article seems to be too large to be watiting to increase the size of the train. What do you think?

    Reply
    • TMRG says:

      Hi, the 975 number referring to the crush-load is a typical copy-paste from one DPR to another across all metro systems in India. It’s really not achievable and something that our users shouldn’t be put through. 600 for a 3 coach train is still respectable and what BM has been seeing these days.

      BMRCL will probably not admit, but it just doesn’t have the requisite funds to buy additional coaches. After they secure funding & invite bids to procure them (expect BEML to be only bidder), it will take another 15 months for the 1st coach to arrive, so they’ll have to make do with increasing the trains’ frequency which to me seems inadequate with the type of crowds expected once both lines are connected. On a different note, it’ll be at the very least another 6 months before they’re connected. BMRCL & its CPRO might say 2-3 months, but that’s just not happening with the dicey progress made on laying tracks, installing 3rd rail & signalling inside the tunnels.

      By the way, I’m easily reachable through twitter or through the ‘contact me’ page which is linked at the top.

      Reply
  12. Ramesh says:

    Hi it a great feeling to travel in metro, it has reduced the problem of traffic and pollution thanks for the great effort by namma metro. i observed there is increase in number of people using metro especially in peak hours and it is going beyond the train capacity.
    it will be good if the frequency of trains are increased in these times.

    Reply
  13. HEMENDRA says:

    Hundreds of people commute to work in companies located On Outer Ring road between Marathahalli& Sarjapur junction.If these areas are connected by metro in next phase, not only so many people will benefit but help decongest traffic & metro will get lot more revenues.Am I Right?

    Reply
  14. Ayush Kumar Thakur says:

    Hey TMRG, big fan myself!
    Just a suggestion, please cover details of all the stations falling under the route. Thanks 🙂

    Reply

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