Wednesday, March 29, 2006


City transport gets a smart image with the BMTC and KSRTC going in for design inputs
The Times of India

STAND and stare, by all means. That’s what you’ll be doing anyway when the new blue buses with stylish swirls and flourishes on their sides take off on the grid routes next month. Leave alone buses, even bus stations will look spiffy with organisations like the BMTC and the KSRTC seeking inputs from architects, and designers from NID, to make buses and stands look inviting.

Says a senior officer from BMTC, “All these efforts are expected to strengthen the brand.” Alongside, the NID design team has suggested that the signage and the roofs of the stops at the Kempe Gowda bus station also be colour-coded. The roofs are all in a continuous semicircle, so if you stand up on the walkway and look beneath, you’ll see pink, red, yellow rings enveloping the bus bays in a few weeks. The colourisation process will be under way soon, says the officer.
And the flourishes? “They can mean ‘seamless continuity,’ which is what commuters can expect from travelling by the grid buses,” says the officer. They could also stand for speed.

The logo? That will not undergo any change, though the designers came up with some very stylish interpretations of the gandaberunda, the twoheaded eagle logo, originally the insignia of the Mysore, Hoysala and Vijayanagar kingdoms.
A swanky bus stand that’s already in operation is the satellite bus station on Mysore Road. The aesthetics stand out. But why make a bus stand attractive? Says MR Srinivasamurthy, MD,

KSRTC, “We want commuters to feel good that they are in such an environment, we want them to feel good while they wait for a bus. We want to maximise their comfort, and also allow for commercial exploitation of such properties. Also, there’s been a lot of advance in transport engineering — how people get in, where they take their luggage, how to streamline movement, how to minimise fatigue and so on.” These inputs have been considered too.

Says Sagar Shetty, architect, whose team designed the bus station, “The land has high value, being on Mysore Road. So, we designed a trendy commercial building in front that can house a car showroom or an IT company. However, the chief aspect of the bus station is that human traffic and vehicular traffic do not criss-cross at all.” The curved building is shaped like a fan, keeping in mind vehicular movement. Because of this structure, the buses don’t need to reverse at all.

But should aesthetics matter so much in a bus stand? Product designer Neil Foley says they must. “Design is always related to quality of life. It’s also a tool for focussing on social issues. The BMTC and the KSRTC probably want to project a more professional image, that they are more concerned about the people they serve. A bus station is a like an airport at a micro level, so the comfort factor is important.”

And colour? “Colour adds to the brand identity. Colour also plays with the emotions of the onlooker or the user. The commuter must be made to get excited about getting into the bus,” says Foley.
Going by the blue buses, that should not be difficult. But, after that? That’s the test


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