It was almost 945 when I started back from the MG Road area this evening. The day travel card I had bought earlier was in my right knee pocket. I heard some people at the Chinnaswamy Stadium bus stop complain that there hadn’t been a bus that way for a very long time. Bus number 20 presently arrived, but couldn’t reach the stop due to the pile-up of traffic from the signal at the Mahatma Gandhi circle. I ran back towards the bus and was lucky to find the doors open.
The new BMTC bus stand in Shantinagar seems to be a major churning point. More than half the people in the bus got down over there (thus ensuring I had a place to sit) and a similar number quickly got in. I think more bus interchanges should be encouraged at this stop. In fact, this is better than Majestic or Market as a hub, since it will be a dedicated hub without being an origin or destination.
I got off at Lalbagh main gate, hoping to catch either 12B which would drop me at Deve Gowda petrol bunk, or some bus that would deposit me at the Ramakrishna Ashram. I found neither. I ended up in a Janapriya Vahini no. 2 which I planned to take till fifth block. By observing the crowd at the bus stop in fourth block, I learned that there hadn’t been a bus towards my area for a long time. And I started wondering why none of them practised bus hopping.
Yet another bus later, I was at the Banashankari bus station, which is something like a black hole for buses late in the night. Buses arrived, unloaded all their passengers and parked for the night. Nothing was leaving the bus stand. Nothing in the general direction of Kathriguppe at least. Road works at the Kadirenahalli cross also meant that I didn’t really know where to stand. It wouldn’t have mattered since no bus was leaving the stand.
It was the first time in ages that I saw auto drivers competing to ferry me home. Some three of them seemed keen, and all of them offered to ferry me at 1.5 times the meter – which is the regulated late night rate. They resolved the fight quickly and I was soon in an autorickshaw. Rupees forty from Banashankari Bus Station to Kathriguppe. Earlier in the day it had been rupees thirty from Kathriguppe to M G Road and back to Banashankari Bus Station. As i keep saying, choice of mode of transport is made keeping in mind cost, time and convenience.