Open Journal Systems

Enhancing Bengaluru’s public transport network: approaches and challenges

Aloke Mukherjee, Roshan Toshniwal, Pawan Mulukutla

Article ID: 154
Vol 2, Issue 1, 2017, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 652 (Abstract) 608 (PDF)


 In recent decades, Bengaluru as a metropolis has witnessed explosive growth – both in terms of population, which has doubled since 2001, and growth in vehicles, which have more than quadrupled in the same period (RTO 2016). This has significantly stressed the city’s road infrastructure, leading to congestion and increases in pollution. Economic losses due to congestion for two of the city’s Information Technology corridors alone are estimated at INR227.7 billion annually (Bharadwaj 2015), without taking into account the health costs of increased emissions due to a surge in the number of vehicles plying in the city. ‘Conventional’ solutions addressing congestion within the city — such as road widening, creating one ways and building grade separators such as flyovers and underpasses — have failed to address the issue, and at the current rate of increasing vehicular volumes, the city’s roads are forecast to be completely saturated by 2025.

This paper’s premise is that public transport serves as the sole sustainable solution to Bengaluru’s chronic congestion; only a large mode-shift towards public transport by 2025 can help reduce congestion on the city’s roads. The paper advocates the Avoid-Shift-Improve strategy to achieve this, focusing on transport-specific improvements required to incentivise commuters to shift to public transport and identifies institutional and financial changes in the way of enhancing public transport in the city. The paper also forewarns against neglecting the city’s conventional bus system in favour of other, capital-intensive modes of mass-transit, forecasting that buses will continue to meet over 75% of the city’s public transport demand even after the completion of Phase I and II of the city’s metro and the introduction of a functional commuter rail system.


congestion; public transport; city development

Full Text:


Included Database


Chandramouli, C. 2011. "Data Highlights - Census of India 2011." Census of India 2011. 7 15. Accessed 5 10, 2016.

TERI. 2014. "Policy Brief, March 2014." The Energy and Resources Institute. 3. Accessed 5 1, 2016.

UN-DESA. 2014. "World Urbanization Prospects." Population Division - United Nations . Accessed 5 3, 2016.

Beinhocker, Eric D., Diana Farrell, and Adil S. Zainulbhai. 2007. "Tracking the growth of India's middle class." The McKinsey Quarterly, 7: 51-61.

MORTH. 2013. "Total Number of Registered Vehicles in India." IndiaStat. 12 31. Accessed 5 10, 2016.

Bandivadekar, Anup, and Gaurav Bansal. 2013. "India Retrospective Fact Sheet." The International Council on Clean Transportation. 11 1. Accessed 5 7, 2016.

Bose, Praveen. 2011. "Population boom: At 46.68% Bangalore tops urban districts." Business Standard, April 7.

Census of India. 2011. "Urban Agglomerations/Cities having population 1 million and above." Census India. Accessed 5 6, 2016.

Bangalore Development Authority . 2012. History. 1 1. Accessed 5 7, 2016.

Kumar, T.K. Anil. 2011. "Primary Census Abstract - Data Highlights." Directorate of Census Operations - Karnataka. 5 26. Accessed 5 10, 2016.

Expert Committee: BBMP Restructuring. June, 2015. Bengaluru: Way Forward. Bengaluru: Government of Karnataka.

Praja. 2010. "" September 22. Accessed May 14, 2016.

Transport Department, Karnataka. 2016. March 31. Accessed May 10, 2016.

Bangalore Traffic Police. 2015. March 31. Accessed May 19, 2016.

The Hindu. 2014. Average vehicle speed drops to 9.2 kmph in Bangalore. 8 22. Accessed 5 13, 2016.

IBM. 2011. September 8. Accessed May 17, 2016.

RITES. June, 2011. Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Plan For Bengaluru. Bangalore : Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation.

Bharadwaj, K.V. Aditya. 2015. “Traffic Mess: Capgemini may exit Bengaluru.” The Hindu, 13 December.

Directorate of Urban Land and Transport & Urban Mass Transit Company Limited. 2011. “Bangalore Mobility Indicators 2010-11.” Accessed May 5, 2016.

National Transport Development Policy Committee. 2013. "Urban Transport." Planning Commission. Accessed 5 13, 2016.

BMTC. 2016. April 20. Accessed May 19, 2016.

M.K., Nidheesh. 2016. “Bangalore Metro, the journey so far.” The Mint, 29 April.

Thomas, Bellie. 2016. “” 18 May. Accessed May 19, 2016.

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation. n.d. “” Accessed May 10, 2016.

RITES. 2012. "" August. Accessed May 19, 2016.

BMTC. 2016. "Request for Loan Subvention for Fleet." Bengaluru, 2 16.

Government of Karnataka. 2014. "" Accessed May 13, 2016.

Government of Karnataka. 2015. "" March 13. Accessed May 14, 2016.

Rahul Goel, Geetam Tiwari. 2014, June. Promoting low carbon transport in India : Case studies of Metro Rails in India. New Delhi: United Nations Environmental Programme.

Robin.A.King, Vivek Vaidyanthan and. November 16-18, 2011. "Institutional Analysis of Urban Transportation in Bangalore." 4th Annual International Conference on Next Generation Infrastructures. Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Mani, Akshay. 2014. "" January 28. Accessed May 19, 2016.

Bhardwaj, K.V. Aditya. 2016. "Bengaluru gets its share: Rs5,000 crore special grant for the city." The Hindu, March 18.

Bangalore Mirror. 2015. Illegal Transport Operators Thrive Despite RTO Drives. 10 7. Accessed 5 10, 2016.

EMBARQ. July, 2014. Detailed Project Report (DPR). Bangalore: Directorate of Urban Land Transport.

Kidiyoor, Suchith. 2015. "BMTC, BMRCL Webistes mislead passengers on combo passes." Bangalore Mirror, July 11.

(652 Abstract Views, 608 PDF Downloads)


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Aloke Mukherjee

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.