Wednesday, July 1, 2009

BMTC Volvo Payana (Travel)

It has been almost four months now since I started going to office by BMTC bus. My office is situated at Varthur which is near Whitefield and my home is at Chikalsandra which is 2 k.m from Devegowda petrol pump. Thus the total distance from office to home amounts to around 28 k.m. For the last five years I have traveled out this distance on my Bike, but with the introduction of the Volvo services and also with the increase in frequency of the Buses, I decided to give it a try. Though there was the other option of office cabs but I preferred my Bike over the cabs based on comfort level of travel vs time taken.
There are no direct Volvo buses from Chikalsandra to Varthur, leave aside Volvo, there are no direct ordinary buses on this route. My home and office are located in such a way that I have to change three buses to reach office, this was one of the major reasons that I didn't try out the bus earlier. But finally one day a major traffic jam tipped me over to try out the bus. The Volvo bus which plied on my route was 500K, this bus came to Devegowda petrol pump and went to a bus stop called Kundanahalli gate which is about 4 km from my office. Thus for the major part of the journey i.e close to 22 km I was traveling by Volvo. Also for the rest of the 6 km, if luck had its way then I traveled by Volvo, but most of the times I get into any bus that comes along. For the remaining 6 kms, the frequency of the buses on both the routes are so high that I usually wouldn't have to wait for more than 2 minutes at the bus stop.
The number of 500K are close to around 24, I travel in a 500K that comes to Devegowda petrol pump at around 7:10 in the morning, Surprisingly the bus usually maintains it's time. But based on the driver, the time I take to reach the destination varies. On some day's I will be in Kundanahalli gate by 8:10, on others it can touch upto 8:30. In the evenings I don't have a fixed timing, thus my waiting time can vary based on the time I start. If I start after 7, then waiting time can be as high as 20 minutes before a bus comes along, otherwise from 5 to 7, a bus will be there for every 10 minutes. Some buses labeled 500C also come to DG petrol pump, their last stop being the Kamakhya depot. The cost of the ticket is 30 Rs, but I prefer to take the Gold day pass which costs 75 Rs, by buying a pass I overcome the common hassle of providing change to the conductor in each and every bus.
The Volvo bus is a pretty comfortable vehicle, The smooth ride and the AC are major pluses. But there are also some negatives, the legroom can be slightly cramped up for taller people. If you are standing in the bus then it can get pretty irritating when the driver starts experimenting with his disk breaks.
Finally I would say that BMTC has done a great job by bringing out this service which caters to the middle class public. For me it has been especially useful as I can catch up on my studies in the bus.

Volvo bus numbers:
Chikalsandra to D G petrol pump : 210 IA (This goes to Majestic, very less in frequency)
DG Petrol pump to Kundanahalli gate: 500K (Starts from Vijayanagar and ends at ITPL)
Kundanahalli gate to Varthur kodi: 333p, 328M. (Frequency is decent enough).

P.S: New bus from chikalsandra to ITPL 500P has been added.