How to get to Bangalore International Airport – III

Time for an update on this pet topic of mine – how will we get to the new airport which is more than 30 km away from the city?

Newspapers reported today that BMRDA will implement a 4 lane expressway to Devanahalli (links to a TOI news article)

Gearing up to tackle the traffic bottlenecks that will surface with the international airport, Bangalore will have an expressway from a point on Outer Ring Road up to Devanahalli.

Did you read the “fine print” there? It says this expressway will start from a “point on Outer Ring Road”. And where exactly is this point? Somewhere in between Old Madras Road and NH7 (Hebbal flyover) intersections, presumably the point on ORR that will be closest to the airport.

So, if I live in Banashankari, and have to go to the new airport, I got to drive to this “point” either through the city, or all the way around on the ORR first. That takes anytime between 40 minutes to an hour in today’s traffic conditions. Once I hit this expressway, I am home in about 20 minutes. Adding it up, people in south and south-west Bangalore could be looking at a 2 hour long drive up to the airport.

Come on guys! It is relatively easy to do these peripheral ring roads, and expressways that start on the peripheries. Doing an expressway through the city is tough. Acquiring land and displacing people and businesses in the middle of the city, or constructing elevated roads in the heart of the city – these aren’t easy things to do, given the political noise these situations will generate. Look at Metro for example.

Yes, it is not tough, and expect our planners to shy away from the tougher jobs. However, we badly need north-south and east-west expressways in addition to the much talked about “elevated core inner ring” road. Only then will Bangalore be able to provide a Chicago like “anywhere in 20 minutes” envirnment.

Not to say that things like airport expressways and peripheral ring roads and satellite townships are not needed. But please, we need a way to zip past the crowded city as well.

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23 Responses

  1. Personally I am happy if “something” is done. We can get to “everything” in due course of time.

  2. Ajay, yes. Something is better than nothing. But “half thought” efforts like these lead to bigger messes later. Do it right, and do it complete. When will we learn that?

  3. Yes, indeed is seems easier to build roads on vacant land outside the city and forget the mass staying inside the ring road traps…an elevated roads via cisty will alwasy be achallenge to politicians as it will be shot in arm…

    can you expect such proactiveness when half of the bangalore flyovers are not planned properly, see the one connecting lalbagh double road to residency and mission road ( haveing a flip flop of traffic controlled manually)….and the KR puram mess of having all outbound traffic getting routed under a narrow intersection near KR puram station…. I see no hopes and the designing itself has errors…

    ya, we have to hope for good…nevertheless…

  4. SB – rightly said. getting to that point in ORR and then taking the expressway, which would be heavily tolled just because it is the access road to the intl airport, simply does not make sense enough to spend gazzillion crores to set it up! washinton dc, baltimore, new york city, dallas, houston, las vegas, detroit – all have beltways running through the city and providing an exit directly to the airport. that is what is needed. if they can implement a rule all along airport road to ease congestion and speed up time to airport, then they could do it on any road leading to devanahalli too! barricade the damn road all the way upto the airport and allow no interchanges at all. anyone wants to cross over – take an underpass or overpass. no signal nothing!

  5. Thanks Rajesh, RC.

    Rajesh – area around KR Puram station is a complete mess. Try doing a pick up at KR Puram station in morning or evening hours. You will get lots of photo ops.

    RC – We badly need one mega transportation project inside the city. Or else, please make us a brand new city with its own MG Road Brigade Road, Garuda mall, Vidhan Soudha and Cubbon Park.

  6. […] After my last note on the subject, there was another interesting suggestion that floated around. Some said the HAL airport could run a helicopter drop service to the new airport. See, that is how hopeless and scared everyone is about getting to the new airport. […]

  7. If ppl are ready to pay for the chopper transfer service, I am sure there will be many who are willing to offer the service!

  8. Adi, that would be good, but I suspect chopper rides wont come cheap. And for regional flights, why not take this chopper to the destination itself :) ?

  9. Well, the only hope till supreme court orders politicians to stay away from infrastructure decesions (I think in some way they have with NICE Case) is the NICE peripheral road, which plans to connect NH4 to NH7. This should give access from Bangalore south, like Jaynagar, JP Nagar, BSK II and III stages, but be prepared to shell out major money to use this road.

  10. One question …..
    the road being constructed by NICE… is it going to ease the travel between e-city and KR puram( nearby garden city college)

    Thanks in advance

  11. No Abhinay, not to KR Puram. Looks like you didn’t open the BMRDA image I pointed to in this recent post. NICE peripheral road will take you from Tumkur Road to Hosur road cutting over Mysore road, Kanakapura road and Banerghatta road.

    If you live in KR Puram, better move your job to ITPL area :)

  12. Dear Silkboard
    Thanks thanks a lot for the info.
    Its a good suggestion to move the office to ITPL :)

    However once the Road by the NICE is complete.

    Can it be used to cut the travel time from e-city to KR puram ? I am planning my house very near to garden city collge.

    Thanks and Regards
    Abhinay Kumar

  13. Is there a market for elevated freeways throughout the city? For example, can there be an elevated road above Old Madras Road, Bellary Road etc. just like over Hosur Road? Is it commercially viable to build a tollway for this purpose? If the answer is yes,a private company can build these. the advantage of a private co is that they have an incentive to get the work done quickly so that they can soon start collecteing toll. we may even get our own freewaysystem like this

  14. I said Abhinay, no! Based on plans that are public today, KR Puram to e-City is going to be via ORR and Hosur road. No other option, unless you want to drive out to BDA’s peripheral ring road and circle around the city to join Hosur road midway to Elec City.

    Wait 7-8 years, metro may reach Elc City. Or if you get lucky, planners may wake to realize they can do regular local trains from KR Puram to Elec City.

    George – there may be a market for just 1 north south and 1 east west corridor. But such a road could eat into Metro’s market. Better encourage public transport, fair enough. Actually, if ORR were to be made an expressway, that’d almost serve the purpose.

  15. Silkboard,
    The ORR cannot be made an expressway or access controlled-there are too many shops offices and houses along it.It will be hard to make it anything other than a normal city road. Highway trucks can be sent on the peripheral ring road when is it ready so that there is less traffic on the ORR. Of course, if there is an elevated road above the ORR that will be an expressway, but it is quite costly to build and will have to be tolled.

    Encouraging public transport is desirable. However, we probably need both a metro and elevated tollways to reduce congestion. Elevated tollways will also enable BMTC grid routes to travel faster, encouraging more people to use them.

    Tollways are a good means of getting the private sector involved in road development. The private sector will bring much needed funds to the table. The rich people who use cars can easily pay tolls.

  16. […] (it actually will not till they figure connectivity issues – looks like the it will be the original expressway before the train, haven’t heard about the helicopters again). Its more because the Airport […]

  17. NICE road needs to be complete by the time the international airport is ready. An express train is necessary to connect the city to the international airport. More volvo buses are necessary to transport people.

  18. Drove yesterday to Devanahalli on some other work. The road after Hebbal flyover is in pretty good shape. There are no real bottlenecks there – but a number of potential accident zones.

    The real bottlenecks are at Cauvery theatre, then the stretch along UAS or just before that. Very narrow roads with a number of right turns and intersections. Some serious debottlenecking needs to be done along this stretch.

    Once past Hebbal – a grade separator is needed at the entry to yelahanka town. Of course a really bad accident will probably have to happen before something gets done. Then along the way there are a number of intersections where grade separators as well as pedestrian overpasses are needed. They also need to plan some elevated U-turns.

    Work was happening on the trumpet interchange. no work was happening at the railway crossing close to Devenahalli- there was a skeleton of a flyover.

    I also drove on NH-207 connecting Devanahalli and Hoskote. Apparently Hoskote is just 26 km from Devanhalli. This road is apparently going to become part of the STRR. There is a road connecting the east gate of the airport to this road.

    Finally saw the actual airport (from a distane though). The other day – had seen it from the air when flying back from Bombay. The runway is huge and seemed to be almost finished.

    I hope they do put a train service sooner than later to the airport. Let’s see… I am amazed that we actually have a 70% completed airport.

    Regards,
    Srivathsa

  19. so how do you GET there?!

    where can we book volvo buses?!

  20. how do i get there

  21. The best way to get to the airport is to take a cab, if you have lot of luggage. I booked Meru Cabs at 08044224422. They provide A/C Mahindra Logan. From my place in BSK 1st stage to Devanahalli airport it cost me Rs. 700, for a distance of 43 kms. I think other cab service companies charge lesser, around Rs. 450 to 500. Hope the metro tracks are extended to the airport. That’ll relieve the passengers to a large extent. Volvo buses are not used by passengers coming from other cities. So, currently the cabs are the only means of transport. However, they seem somewhat expensive. It would be convenient if some direct road could be constructed that’ll take the passengers directly to the airport from especially the south-eastern part of Bangalore.

  22. The best way to get to the airport is to take a cab, if you have lot of luggage. I booked Meru Cabs at 08044224422. They provide A/C Mahindra Logan. From my place in BSK 1st stage to Devanahalli airport it cost me Rs. 700, for a distance of 43 kms. I think other cab service companies charge lesser, around Rs. 450 to 500. Hope the metro tracks are extended to the airport. That’ll relieve the passengers to a large extent. Volvo buses are not used by passengers coming from other cities. So, currently the cabs are the only means of transport. However, they seem somewhat expensive. It would be convenient if some direct road could be constructed that’ll take the passengers directly to the airport from especially the south-western part of Bangalore.

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