To cut down on the problems faced by people in reaching Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is planning to launch three more bus services connecting different areas of the city to the airport.
Named ‘Vayu Vajra’, the buses will connect ITPL to the airport via Budigere Cross; Shivaji Nagar/MG Road to Kempegowda airport via Hennur Road; and Bannerghatta Road (Gottigere), the New Indian Express reported. The launch dates have not yet been fixed, but the buses are expected to ply 30-40 times a day, a senior BMTC official told TNIE.
Kempegowda International Airport is located north of the city and due to the congested roads, it can take people a few hours to get there. The state has taken several steps in the past to reduce travel time.
A luxury bus service was started in 2008 to take passengers to the airport. In September 2017, the state Cabinet approved an infrastructure project proposing 4 new corridors connecting different parts of the city to the airport.
With an expected cost of around Rs 2,100 crore, all four corridors will have double roads. The plan is to connect Hoskote to the airport via Budigere; Nelamangala to Bengaluru International Airport via Byatha; Anekal to the airport via Sarjapur, and Harohalli to BIA via Anekal, as reported by the Bangalore Mirror. The project is expected to be finished by 2020.
The government has also been planning to make two metro stations inside the airport so that passengers can take the trains directly up to the airport, thereby reducing vehicular traffic on the roads. In this regard, a Detailed Project Report was submitted by the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) in September 2017, as reported earlier by TNM.
This new airport line will be an extension of the Gottigere-Nagawara metro (Red line), which falls under the Phase-II expansion plans. The airport line, however, cannot be constructed before the Red line is completed. The Red line, with a projected cost of Rs 5,623 crore, is expected to be operational by mid-2023.
The steps being taken by the government and administration are crucial to ensure better connectivity to the Kempegowda airport, the largest in South India. In 2017-18, it recorded an all-time high passenger footfall of 26.91 million, seeing a 17.6% increase compared to the previous year, as per a report by the Times of India. In 2017 alone, over 25 million passengers used the airport and the growth rate has been increasing sharply over the last decade.