From Bengaluru to the airport for Rs 10: Why new prepare service is a sport changer


5 trains at the moment are plying between the town and the airport, providing a brand new path for hundreds of passengers and staff.

On Monday night, Rahul Bhakta, a 27-year-old resident of Bengaluru, frantically checked cab fares to Bengaluru Worldwide Airport, positioned 35 km from the town centre. The plane upkeep engineer had a flight to Chennai at 8.30 pm however scrolling via his telephone, his face fell as he noticed that the cab fare was nearly half the price of his flight ticket. 

“It appeared prefer it was going to rain and that may imply a value surge in getting a cab,” Rahul mentioned. He thought-about taking the bus to the airport nevertheless it nonetheless set him again by Rs 270. “There was additionally the night rush-hour visitors,” says Rahul.

Till Monday, a bus or a cab had been Rahul’s solely choices of public transport to the airport from his dwelling in Kalyan Nagar. However a newly-launched service is now altering that and including a 3rd choice to the combination  — a suburban prepare from the town to the airport at simply Rs 10. 

“The timings matched my flight. The station was quarter-hour from my dwelling so I went there and requested on the counter. They mentioned that the prepare to the airport has began,” mentioned Rahul, holding up his ticket. 

5 trains will function from Bengaluru to the airport for the subsequent few months — two trains will depart the KSR Railway Station at 4:45 am and 9 pm and three different trains will function from Yelahanka (7 am), Yeshwantpur (8:30 am) and Cantonment (5:55 pm) stations. 5 extra trains will function within the different path from the airport to the town, with the earliest prepare at 6:23 am and the final prepare at 10:38 pm.

The 5 trains plying between the town and the airport may make a world of distinction for the 25,000 individuals who work on the airport in addition to flight travellers and those that accompany the passengers to the airport. 

In response to officers on the Bengaluru Worldwide Airport, the each day visitors on the airport is round 30,000. The halt station was constructed by Bengaluru Worldwide Airport Restricted (BIAL), the corporate which manages the airport.

“Until yesterday, there was no choice to go to the airport with out spending no less than Rs 250. The prepare service can be a less expensive and safer strategy to commute to the airport since you aren’t uncovered to the air pollution of highway visitors. These trains can take round 700 individuals contemplating the [physical] distancing guidelines. So the service can now be utilized by round 3500 individuals each day. The railways ought to intention to extend this quantity,” Rajkumar Dugar, convenor of  Residents for Residents (C4C), and one of many activists who advocated for the airport halt station, mentioned. 

Rahul boarded the prepare at 6 pm and was the only real passenger to disembark on the airport about an hour and seventeen minutes later. Although the prepare gives an reasonably priced and traffic-free path to Bengaluru’s airport, and has been a long-standing demand from activists, there’s nonetheless little consciousness amongst potential passengers. 

And whereas Rahul was acquainted with the service, he nonetheless nervously glanced at his telephone each jiffy to comply with the prepare’s path. Channasandra station: 6:24 pm. Bettahalasur station: 6:55 pm. 

“It’s a new route and there was confusion amongst travellers. I saved checking the progress of the prepare on my telephone as a result of in spite of everything, I had boarded after seeing a Fb submit. I used to be nonetheless not sure that the prepare would take me to the airport,” mentioned Rahul. 

To his reduction, the prepare reached the newly-built airport station at 7:12 pm after leaving Cantonment Railway Station at 5:55 pm. The halt station is positioned close to the boundary of the airport and a free shuttle bus awaited Rahul. 

Rahul reached the airport at 7.30 pm, an hour earlier than his flight. “I spent Rs 60 for the auto and the prepare journey and I didn’t get late for the flight. Though the prepare was delayed by 20 minutes, the journey was positively extra snug than being caught in Bengaluru visitors,” a beaming Rahul mentioned. 

Watch Prajwal’s video story on his journey

Delays mar first day of service

Nonetheless, all was not nicely through the launch of the service on Monday. The primary prepare left KSR Station at 4.45 am amid fanfare and with high-profile passengers on-board. However commuters complained that the prepare from Yeshwantpur to the airport at 8:30 am was delayed by an hour. The prepare travelling from the airport to Cantonment Station was equally delayed and solely arrived at 9:30 pm, an hour late. 

Mohan, who manages {an electrical} store in Chikkaballapura, is an everyday commuter on the route from Yeshwantpur which extends past the airport. He mentioned that there have been no delays within the route within the weeks earlier than the airport service was launched. “At present was the primary time shortly there was a protracted delay, each whereas going in direction of the airport and later whereas coming again to the town,” Mohan says. 

A railway official performed down considerations over the delays stating that it’s going to assessment the trains within the line and decongest it. “We will likely be addressing the problems that got here up on the primary day,” a railway official says. 

The 24-km of rail line between Yehalanka and Devanahalli is a single observe, which implies that trains can solely go as soon as each half-hour in both path. The airport halt station lies in between these two stations. “Ideally, the railways ought to take up doubling work on this line,” Mohan says.

Rajkumar Dugar nonetheless explains that since a double line might take years to construct, upgrading the railway station in Doddajala to a crossing station at the price of Rs 10 crore will ease the congestion. The Doddajala station, which is over 100 years previous, is the penultimate station earlier than the airport halt station whereas travelling from the town. 

Learn: Improve Doddajala station to make airport line successful: Rail activists in Bengaluru

Regardless of the challenges, commuters like Rahul say that the airport prepare is the one wise mode of transportation to the airport. “When a cab journey can price as a lot as a airplane ticket, having an affordable prepare service to the airport is crucial. I will likely be encouraging individuals to make use of this service. It may be improved however for those who plan prematurely, it is a nice different to go to the airport,” Rahul mentioned, including, “The railways ought to be sure that there are minimal delays.”

Learn: Bengaluru airport prepare schedule revised, Railways hopes to resolve teething issues


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