Freewheeling Bangalore

I'm praying this comes to fruition, real soon. BMTC has some amazing plans too - if it all works out Bangalore would've taken a major leap forward.

Bangalore Train Commute : More info!

Glifford, who shared the train info with me earlier - responded with a lot of additional info to my earlier post about train commute options in Bangalore - so another entry is probably justified for sharing this:

Thanks Sameer for picking up on what I told you yesterday. I hope many readers of your blog try it out and actually begin using it.

I myself am planning to begin using it.

Well some more details.

Bangalore East <-> Krishnarapuram (one way) is
  • Rs. 2 (lower than a platform ticket!!!) on a normal passenger train
  • Rs. 24 on a Mail/Express train. Either way
way cheaper and faster than any other form of transport.

Bus fare from Krishnarajapuram <-> Kadabeesanahalli (J. P. Morgan, Prestige Tech Park) one way is
  • 20 on a Volvo
  • 15 on a Suvarna
  • maybe 10 or cheaper on Pushpak or regular class (blue) buses.

Still works faster and cheaper than even the (motor)bike or scooter.

And finally, how do you plan your journey? This is what I do. Some time before leaving, I just check the current train status on:,+KJM+&time=24&name=&code=
(for Krishnarajapuram)
or for others search here:

Then plan accordingly considering about 20 mins for a bus ride from my office to KJM. Simple!

Maybe you should update the post with your links. And yes!

These trains are regular up-country trains. Not local trains. But nothing stops us from using them as such as long as we pay the fare and it stops where we want (Mail/Express have reserved compartments which you may choose to use, but not legal).

And yes, IT (or new economy) guys/gals are not the only ones who use it. Many sales people (the credit card types) and courier boys regularly travel to Whitefield station. This is from the conversations I managed to eavesdrop when sitting in these sparsely filled compartments!

Thanks Gliff! Hope to see the utilization of this mode of transport go up!

The NDTV blogger tamasha

Why NDTV lost my respect | Inside the mind and heart of Venkatesh Sridhar

Well, they lost mine too. While I did buy media-on-overdrive arguments earlier, I had also rationalized their behaviour as "they have a job to do". With this, they lost it completely - NDTV and Barkha have sunk to Sardesai-levels (yeah thats my personal benchmark of how terrible journos can be.)

The Fuel Efficiency of A Bicycle - The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: The Most Efficient Machine Ever Invented

Reasonably high, wouldn't you say ? Some other nice quotes and references in there as well. As you might have guessed by now, I'm a regular on the Copenhagenize blog by now. Of course, I hope we can do a Bangalore-ing of that as well :D

Bangalore has a local train option!!!

Was chatting with a pal of mine who works on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) - his office is right behind the JP Morgan building. This guy lives in Fraser Town, and has started driving recently (a biker all his adult life so far - rides a Pulsar and a scooterette as well) and started feeling the stress that accompanies driving in the city.

What he told me totally took me by surprise - apparently he tried out a train from Bangalore East - which is close to his home - to Krishnarajapuram and then took a BMTC bus to his office. Saved money, time and huge amounts of stress! Even more surprising - it seems a lot of folks who work on the OMR (Old Madras Road) and live anywhere along the railway line - Cantonment, Bangalore East, Byapanahalli, etc - take this option regularly with the last leg on foot/bus. Fare to KJM - 2/- :) Time : 10 mins flat!

Found an appropriate map with the tracks and localities marked along that route.

I guess it can actually work for a whole lot of people who travel to the OMR/ORR/Whitefield area, and we're not even talking about extra expenditure on a Metro etc.

One "downside" he mentioned is that one needs to plan a little in advance, there's a train approximately on the hour! Hey thats not bad at all. even in a car or on a motorcycle we end up trying to factor in traffic conditions and plan leaving home at certain hours to beat the rush. Whichever mode of transport you use, there's a little bit of working around its mechanics and optimization one learns in a week or so.

I'm thrilled that existing railway infrastructure is being used by commuters, and that many cars are effectively being kept off the roads. The trains are quite empty though at least a few dozen people use them already - so go ahead and try this option as well. At least from KJM there are buses along the ORR every couple of minutes. I'm nor certain but Whitefield Station may work well too for that area, or KJM might have buses going there.

Now all we need is a few pull-push services on the same tracks including connections to other parts of B'lore railways network, and integrated ticketing with the BMTC. Tall order, given that a central and a city organization will need to collaborate on this, but from the positive action I've heard about from BMTC's end, it's definitely not impossible :)'

[ Addendum : while I'm dreaming, a bike park-rent station at KJM/Whitefield would rock for the office goers in that area. Train + ride. Maybe even a cycle-carriage on the train itself, someday ? ]

[ Even more : followed the tracks around Bangalore even more. Its all connected! The univ - BSK - City - Malleshwaram - Yeswantpur - Hebbal - East/Cantt - OMR - Whitefield - Banaswadi - Bellandur - Sarjapura Road - Chandapura. Oh the possibilities! 5-6 3 rake trains going around continuously will solve a lot of pain. Just ensure good bus connections and it'll cover a lot of this city. ]

Whither Us ?

Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings: Intolerant India

Cause for concern, the growing tolerance of this intolerance. Politically, nobody has the guts to act even if its against a fringe group with no influence. No wait, our "leaders" and representatives are sooo disconnected they have no way of determining what or who has influence and who does not, and hence pander to every shrill, loud voice. Case in point - the "Terrorism" plank post Mumbai which royally backfired.

Shorter motorized transport distances : Impact! - The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: The Oregon Report

This gut-feel I've had has finally found some studied proof! There's a report in the above page that drives home the point about more sustainable, dynamic and healthier communities and local economies being encouraged by promoting fewer miles being traveled in motorized transport (especially private, I'd reckon).

Can Bangalore do it ? From what I've been hearing about the BMTC's efforts in the direction, I'd say I'm very hopeful! Its upto the educated car-driven elite, now.

Who is it ?

What is it that I adored ? Who did I love ?
What did I miss when it was gone ?
The form ? I so willingly buried that - and deny it now.
What is the essence of us ?
Is it as it lives in others ?
Do I only connect a part of me that I imagine to be the object of my affection, and cause of grieving ?
Will it always be a part of me ?

Critical Mass January

Yeah - one less car. Come and join the ride.

Drive Less.

Car Exhaust, Air Pollution and the Environment: Health Effects of Exhaust Chemicals

Make this a goal in your life. Walk, take the bus (and divide the kms by the number of passengers!). Ride a bike. Whatever. Just reduce the total number of kms per head done in Bangalore (or any city) by 30-40%, and we'll have solved a whole bunch of problems at one go.

Yes you have that usual reason of inconvenient public transport, or timings, or distance.

Same kinda reasons to not go jogging, or running, or start the big project you've been trying to.

We're a rather procrastinating species, it seems. Its starting to boil down to how much longer we want to sustain. Do you want to, or not ? Take a little bit of pain or inconvenience to get started, and try help solve the pain points instead.

Its not someone else's job to do this or that first before it becomes oh-so-totally easy for you to ride/bus/walk. its your job as well.

Come on. Let's shake our collective slumber and zombie-ness and get cracking. Use the automobile when necessary. And preferably, with 4 people inside.

Good argument for action

Tim O'Reilly makes a good case for taking steps towards reducing our carbon footprint whether or not you're convinced Global Warming is a real problem.

Of course, its astounding how people can continue to argue against taking such steps - even pollution related deaths - which far outnumber those killed in traffic accidents - are reason enough, even without the global impact aspect of it.

Rickshaws Redux

Solves so many problems at one shot. We need a lot more initiatives like this. (Ties in well with the no-cars-in-the-city-center plan too)

How many bhp was that ? Slow!

Like Bangalore's Bikers have been claiming for some time now - through the city, a cycle is quickest.

Here's proof:

New set of wheels!

Those are a few cell-cam pics of Shubha's new Merida SUB 5-V! Yes, she decided to take the plunge as well, and actually rode the first 15+ kms from Venkatesh's place in Chamrajpet to home quite easily! I got to ride the bike to work this morning as well because of a flat in my bike's rear wheel - nice relaxed ride, and got the hang of the rotary gears quite easily.

Ride Gear - what you need to wear

Don't necessarily use the hardcore bikers you going to Nandi Hills etc over weekend rides as a benchmark. A clean pair of trousers/jeans and a tee works well - you can splash and change at work. These days I do not even need a change - just ride a tad more gently than earlier so absolutely zero sweat.

Kinds of bikers

I'm somewhere in between, I guess :) Nice comic strip, this one.


...when the iron's hot :)

The Oil PSU strike is a good excuse and a good time to pick a bike up - and reduce your dependence on carbon fuels. Its such a pleasure riding past petrol pumps and not havin the worry in one's head.


* improve your health
* reach office happier (way lesser road rage), quicker (its really true)
* save money
* be greener
* help plan a better city, indirectly!

Re-introduction to Biking @ Redwoods, off Sarjapura Road:

We're doing a session on biking at our apartment on Sunday, the 11th of Jan at around 9:30am with help from the Ride-A-Cycle Foundation and Bangalore Bikers.

What to expect:

* Many snazzy looking bikes!
* Q&A on whats bike fit, and its importance
* Gears - do you need them ?
* Biking scene in Bangalore!
* Commuting by bike - is it really possible ? Issues - safety/clothes/locking, answers.
* What bike ? Where? Servicing? Costs ?
* It costs 20k!!!??? Wow ? Why ?
* Check out/Test ride some bikes.
* Any other questions you might have.

Will try getting some of the folks who deal with these bikes as well. In any case most people there will be able to help out with the various brand, model and price options.

Park Vista, Eastwoods folks, Trinity Woods/Acres and others in the area are welcome as well. Please let your friends around there know. Hope to see as many there as possible....

The Flush, Redux

Shubha filled up a one litre plastic bottle and plonked it inside the cistern this morning. The flush works as good as it did earlier - and each full flush needs a full litre lesser!

Now assuming just 5 full flushes everyday, for each of the 152 homes at Redwoods....

Thats 5x152 = 760 litres a day
or 22800 litres a month!
i.e. 22800/6000 = 3.8 tankers a month!
or 277400 litres a day
i.e. 46+ tankers a year!
At 400 a tanker, thats nearly 18.5k saved

And it probably more than just 5 flushes a day per home. Plus, there's the overall awareness about water usage. other "tricks" - smaller buckets, shorter showers (as someone put it - shower for less time than it takes to fill your bucket up!), reusing the "waste" from the Reverse Osmosis water purifiers most have installed.

Lazy Blogger

This is a nice n lazy post about stuff I've stumbled across.

Good reason to start cycling

Cycling Safety : Everyday tips, not just the helmet.

A nice poem about bikes

Is this doable, Bangalore ? Should try.

Still in the post TFN mood - what a ride!