Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vajras zoom on

Vajras zoom on
R Krishnakumar | TNN

Bangalore: The Bengaluru International Airport may still be getting over a shaky start but on the road to BIA, the pace is picking up. At least, through the windows of a BMTC Vayu Vajra.
The Times Of India, on Wednesday, hit the road from the old airport to BIA on a BMTC Volvo. While the bus stuck to the schedule and passengers nodded in appreciation, it was hard to miss this. It took an hour for the bus from the old airport road to travel about 15 km and get past Hebbal on Bellary Road. The rest — about 29 km — was done in 40 minutes.
The BMTC has got most of it right. Realistic schedules, for one. The bus covered the HAL-BIAL route in an hour and 40 minutes. The announced travel time was two hours. With the air-conditioned comfort and adequate baggage space the trip, at Rs 150, is a fair deal, say the passengers. But of course, that’s followed by the now customary question: “Can’t they operate domestic flights from the old airport?’’
On Wednesday, the 30-seater bus carried 19 passengers on the route. A board at the dedicated bus stop near the old airport announces that due to low frequency of flight departures, the buses will operate only once in an hour. The buses, though, will ply frequently from 12.45 am to 3.45 am, the peak phase for international traffic, says the board.
The non-A/C Suvarna buses operate every 30 minutes but the passengers, clearly, are keen on the Volvos. Even as the number of passengers increases at the stop, the ticket collector from the Suvarna bus tells them, “Traffic, sir. The bus will come.’’
Once the bus arrives, it’s again about meeting the schedule. The driver tells the passengers that the bus will leave only at 1 pm and those who don’t want to be delayed can hop on the waiting Suvarna. None leaves.
BIAS4 — one of BMTC’s nine Vayu Vajra services to BIA — starts at 1.05 pm. Moving through the busy pockets of CMH Road and Indiranagar, the bus hits Old Madras Road at around 1.30 pm. The signals start to pull the pace down and as the bus enters Coles Park and St John’s Church Road, it’s almost a crawl. Slow-paced sand trucks on the roads make it more difficult for the Volvo to move ahead.
At 1.50 pm, traffic from Nandidurga Road and other areas leads to a logjam on Jayamahal Road. By the time the bus touches Hebbal, at around 2 pm, a drizzle is on.
The widened road, that takes off from Hebbal, promises a free drive. But on the flanks, road-laying work is still on. Road-rollers and strewn-around construction material — some of it, right in the middle of the road — make the drive a bit slow and bumpy.
With traffic locked at three subsequent signals, the rush is diverted on to the barricaded service roads. At around 2.15 pm, the pace is considerably up as the bus zips past Sonnappanahalli and Chikkajala. The speed is, at times, checked by the trucks and even some autorickshaws.
From the trumpet interchange, it’s another free stretch. At 2.45 pm, the bus drives in to the bus bay in front of the BIA terminal. The rain has stopped.


At Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:37:00 PM GMT+5:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Blogger, can you please help me with the schedule of normal / volvo buses to Devanahalli airport? I reside in Koramangala in St Johns and need to reach BIA by 11AM this sunday, 1st June. If this is inconvenient to you, please suggest some website where i can learn this on my own. Please mail me with your reply at Thanks a lot in advance


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