Statistics show that the construction of bus shelters was started in 2018 by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) but commuters are still waiting in the sun and the rain.
Jyoti would always take the bus home—it was her favorite way to travel the streets of Bengaluru. The people she would meet and the things she would observe all made for a surreal experience. Although the journey was always pleasant, the wait at the bus stop was unbearable—the scorching noon heat would burn her skin as she waited for her bus on KH Road near St. Joseph’s College Auditorium.
Jyoti wanted a bus shelter—as she scrolled through the twitter thread arguments, she realized that other people in Bengaluru also wanted a proper bus shelter.
Drishti, a regular commuter, said, “I travel 22 kilometers each time to and from my office. Out of this, there are only two or three bus stops which have good bus shelter.”
Many commuters says that this is an ongoing issue and the seriousness of this matter is unheard by the authorities. Although many on twitter urged the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to construct shelters, the main responsibility lies in the hands of BBMP.
But BBMP has other roadblocks. A BBMP Traffic Engineering Cell (TEC) official said that they have land problems and lack of proper space.
“Residential building and commercial complex owners don’t allow construction in front of their buildings. Along with this there are certain road elevation issues,” he said.
V.S Manikantaswamy, a mid-level urban planning expert from WAPCOS Limited, a public sector enterprise consulting on transport, agreed that land can pose as a major problem. “By chance, if land is available to an Urban Local Body (ULB) the construction of such a structure will reduce the carriage way width which can further create traffic on junctions and signals,” he said.
While commuters in some parts of the city do not have the comfort of these shelters, people in other parts have six bus shelters in a row or in the vicinity.
The TEC official added that they are planning to demolish the old bus stops while setting up new shelters in major areas. “We have built around 950 bus shelters till now, the work is still going on.” He said. However, reports state that BBMP was supposed to build 2212 bus shelters from 2018 when the initiative began.
Though lack of bus shelters is a problem for commuters, there are also leakage problems in existing ones— they leak during monsoons due to lack of maintenance.
Manikantaswamy said that a proper study and action plan with the availability of ULB funds are necessary to provide better bus facilities.