Bangalore readies for BIG Impact
Bangalore | September 17, 2013 Intra-city travel for residents of Bangalore will soon get easier and flexible. On Monday, September 16th 2013, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah and Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy launched the BIGTrunk services, with a grand ceremony at the Vidhana Soudha. The 65 buses of the BIGTrunk Services aim to serve 53,000 passengers daily along the city’s 12 major arterial roads.
BIGTrunk is the first service of the planned BIG Bus Network. The Bangalore Intracity Grid (BIG) Bus Network will be a citywide network of high frequency bus services along all major roads of Bangalore city. Once operational, the entire network, will form a ‘connective grid’ of routes across the city. Since 2010, EMBARQ India has been working with BMTC, providing them with technical support for the conceptualisation, planning and implementation of the BIG Bus Network.
The BIG Bus Network consists of four types of services in Bangalore:
- BigTrunk- to provide high frequency services along the city’s 12 major arterial roads;
- BigCircle- to provide high frequency circular services on the Outer Ring Road (ORR);
- BigCity- a series of high frequency routes serving high demand, high density corridors in the city centre i.e. within Outer Ring Road;
- BigConnect- to provide high frequency connectivity between arterial roads beyond the Outer Ring Road.
The BIG Bus network has been carefully planned, with a unified brand identity, so that passengers can easily identify the buses and make use of the entire network. By using the right combination of routes, passengers will now also be able to travel diagonally from suburb to suburb – something which is currently very difficult and time consuming since most routes are directed toward the city centre.
The BIG Bus Network has its origins in the Big10 and K-Series routes introduced in Bangalore from 2009 onwards. These services were BMTC’s first steps in re-organising its routes from the ‘destination oriented’ model to the ‘direction oriented’ model. These services have proved enormously successful – financially as well as in terms of ridership and user satisfaction. The BIG Bus Network is thus the scaling up and expanding of the direction-oriented concept to the entire city of Bangalore.
When fully operational, the BIG bus services along Hosur Road will result in an improved commuter experience for nearly 215,000 passengers daily. Following a period of evaluation and passenger feedback, BMTC will roll out these reforms citywide, positively impacting the city bus experience for an estimated 2.5 million passengers daily.
These innovative reforms promise to provide Bangalore residents with a much higher quality of city bus service. Given the challenges Indian cities across the country are facing, with increased motorization and the general trend of shifting from public to private transport, these reforms will also play a significant part in ensuring public transport in Bangalore continues to capture a healthy and growing share of travel in the city – ultimately resulting in a more sustainable transport system for the city and a higher quality of life for all its residents