Namma Metro , also known as Bengaluru Metro is a metro system serving the city of Bengaluru, India. It is currently the second longest operational metro network in India after the Delhi Metro. On the other hand, Namma Metro was ranked the 83rd largest metro system in terms of length and the 79th largest metro network in terms of number of operating stations in the world. It also contains the first underground metro line in South India. The metro network consists of two colour-coded lines, with a total length of 42.3 kilometres serving 41 stations. The system has a mix of underground, at-grade, and elevated stations using standard-gauge tracks. The metro has an average daily ridership of 315,000 passengers. By 2022, the system is expected to complete its phase 2 network and provide connectivity to the city's important tech hubs of Electronics City and White Field
The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka, built and operates the Namma Metro. Services operate daily between 05:00 and 23:00 running with a headway varying between 4–20 minutes. The trains are composed of three cars. The power output is supplied by 750 volt direct current through third rail. Namma Metro was the second rail transport system in India to use 750V DC third rail traction, the first being the Kolkata Metro.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited (DMRC) prepared and submitted the detailed project for the first phase of the Namma Metro project to the BMRCL in May 2003. Construction work for Phase 1 of the project was scheduled to start in 2005 but was delayed by a February 2006 change of government in Karnataka. The project was approved by the Union Cabinet on 25 April 2006. Civil construction on the first section, the stretch of the Purple Line between Baiyyappanahalli and Mahatma Gandhi Road, commenced on 15 April 2007. The section opened to the public on 20 October 2011. The development of network is divided into two phases while phase 1 containing 2 lines was completed in 2017, and Phase 2 is expected to be completed by 2020.
Construction work for Phase 1 of the project was scheduled to start in 2005 but was delayed by a February 2006 change of government in Karnataka and continued debate over whether the project was financially feasible and appropriate for the city. Finally, on 25 April 2006 the Indian Cabinet approved the project, which was then budgeted at more than ₹5,400 crore (US$830 million) (Later revised to ₹11,609 crore (US$1.8 billion) for Phase I). In 2006, Navayuga Engineering was awarded the contract to construct Reach 1 of the East-West corridor. The foundation stone for the Phase 1 construction was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 24 June 2006, and civil construction on Reach I of the line, between M.G. Road and Baiyyappanahalli, commenced on 15 April 2007. The DPRs for a northern extension (from Yeshwanthapura to Hesaraghatta Cross) and part of the southern extension (from RV Road to Yelachenahalli) was submitted in October 2007 and June 2008 respectively.
The underground work of Phase 1 commenced in May 2011. Each corridor consists of two tunnels, which are the first underground tunnels built for trains in South India. The tunnels, dug using tunnel boring machines (TBM), are located approximately 60 feet below ground level, have a diameter of 5.5 metres and are 5 metres apart.  A total of 6 TBMs were used for work in the underground section of Phase 1. They were nicknamed Helen (TBM 1), Margarita (TBM 2), Kaveri (TBM 3), Krishna and Godavari. The UG2 (north to south corridor), from Majestic to K.R Market is expected to finish the entire tunnelling works by August 2016, after which the Green Line would be opened for service, towards the end of the year.
Underground UG1 (east to west corridor) tunneling work was completed on 17 March 2014 after tunnel boring machine Helen (TBM 1) finished its task of tunneling 229m between Bangalore City railway station underground (UG) station and Kempegowda UG station (Majestic). Trackwork and 3rd rail electrification works are completed on the 4.8 km eastbound tunnel of Bangalore metro's Purple line between Cubbon Park and Magadi Road, and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) began end to end trials on the entire 18.1 km Purple line which stretches from Baiyappanahalli to Mysore Road on 23 November 2015. The entire Purple Line stretch was operational on 29 April 2016.
Namma Metro is being built in phases. Currently, as of 18 June 2017 the entire portion of Phase 1 has been completed and is in operation. The operational portion of the Namma Metro is listed below:-
|Line||Opening date||Last extension||Stations||Length
|Terminals||Rolling Stock||Track Gauge mm||Power||Min Headway|
|Purple Line||20 October 2011||30 April 2016||17||18.22||Baiyyappanahalli||Mysore Road||1435mm||750 V DC third rail||4|
|Green Line||1 March 2014||18 June 2017||24||24.20||Nagasandra||Yelachenahalli||1435mm||750 V DC third rail||4|
The first 6.7-kilometre (4.2 mi), 6-station stretch (Reach 1) of the Purple Line between Baiyappanahalli and Mahatma Gandhi Road opened on 20 October 2011, and was the inaugural section of the Namma Metro. The second 6.4-kilometre (4.0 mi), 6-station stretch (Reach 2) of the Purple Line between Mysore Road and Magadi Road opened on 16 November 2015. The first underground section of South India, a 4.8 km stretch from Cubbon Park to Bengaluru City (KSR) Railway Station opened on 29 April 2016, thereby completing the entire 18.22 km Purple Line stretch of the metro network.
The first 9.9-kilometre (6.2 mi), 10-station stretch (Reach 3/3A) of the Green Line opened 1 March 2014. The stretch connected Sampige Road to Peenya Industry. The second 2.5-kilometre (1.6 mi), 3-station stretch (Reach 3B) of the Green Line, operating between Peenya Industry and Nagasandra, opened 1 May 2015. The last stretch connecting Sampige Road to Yelachenahalli was inaugurated on 17 June 2017 thereby completing the entire Phase 1.
The Green Line is the second line of the Metro and it connects Nagasandra in the north to Yelachenahalli in the south, covering a distance of 24.2 kilometres (15.0 mi), and serving 24 stations. It is partly elevated and partly underground, with one station at grade. The southern section of the line, beyond Majestic was thrown open to the public for commercial operations on 18 June 2017.   It was inaugurated by the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 17 June 2017.
The DMRC submitted the DPR for Phase 1 of the Namma Metro project to the BMRCL in May 2003. The final approval on a scheme that incorporated the expertise of DMRC and RITES Limited did not come until April 2006. The DPR prepared by DMRC envisaged a 33 km (21 mi) elevated and underground rail network with 32 stations for Phase 1 of the project. The proposed gauge was standard gauge unlike the broad gauge on the Delhi Metro network. The rationale for the metro includes reduced journey times, cutting fuel use, accident reduction and lower pollution. In 2007, the BMRCL announced that it would incorporate a northern extension (from Yeshwanthapura to Hesaraghatta Cross) and part of the southern extension (from RV Road to Yelachenahalli) in Phase I, thus extending the length of Phase 1 network to about 42.3 km (26.3 mi), with 41 stations. The objective was to connect the metro to the Outer Ring Road at both ends, and also cover the industrial areas of Peenya in the north-west, thereby providing better connectivity and increasing ridership. In October 2008, the Government of Karnataka approved this extension, which would cost an additional ₹1,763 crore (US$270 million).
Phase 1 comprises two lines spanning a length of 42.30 kilometres (26.28 mi), of which about 8.82 kilometres (5.48 mi) is underground and about 33.48 kilometres (20.80 mi) is elevated. There are 40 stations in Phase I, of which 8 stations are underground, 1 at grade and 32 are elevated.
|Line||Elevated length (km)||Underground length (km)||Total length (km)||% of length on curves||Stations|
|Purple Line||13.10||4.80||18.22||44.30 %||17|
|Green Line||20.20||4.00||24.20||39.70 %||24|
|Rake interchange line||0||0.35||0.35||100%||0|
Implementation of Phase 1 has been divided into four reaches and two underground sections. The schedule for completion of Phase 1 is as follows:-
|Section||Length (km)||Termini||Opening date|
|Reach 1 (east)||6.7||Baiyyappanahalli||Mahatma Gandhi Road||20 October 2011|
|Reach 2 (west)||6.4||Mysore Road||Magadi Road||16 November 2015|
|Underground UG2 (east to west)||4.8||Mahatma Gandhi Road||Magadi Road||30 April 2016|
|Reach 3 (north)||5.1||Sampige Road||Yeshwanthpur||1 March 2014|
|Reach 3A (north)||4.8||Yeshwanthpur||Peenya Industry||1 March 2014|
|Reach 3B (north)||2.5||Peenya Industry||Nagasandra||1 May 2015|
|Underground UG1 (north to south)||4.0||Sampige Road||National College||18 June 2017|
|Reach 4 (south)||4.1||National College||Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road||18 June 2017|
|Reach 4A (south)||3.9||Rashtreeya Vidyalaya Road||Yelachenahalli||18 June 2017|
The State Government accorded approval vide Order No. UDD 127 BMR 2010 dated 4 January 2011 for preparation of the detailed project report (DPR) for Phase 2 by the DMRC. The high power committee (HPC), in July 2011, gave in-principle clearance to proceed with Phase 2. The Karnataka government gave in-principle approval to Phase 2 of the Namma Metro project on 3 January 2012. Phase 2 was cleared by the expenditure finance committee (EFC) in August 2013. The Union Cabinet announced that it had approved plans for phase 2 on 30 January 2014. The estimated total cost for Phase 2 is around ₹26,405 crore (US$4.0 billion). The State Government will contribute ₹9,000 crore (US$1.4 billion). The project cost of ₹26,405 crore is the 2011–12 price level, which it is set to escalate at 5 per cent every year with increasing cost of inputs. The Union government will share that part of cost escalation due to increase in central levies, while the Karnataka State and BMRCL have to bear any other escalation. According to the experts, the total project cost for Phase 2 is estimated to reach at least ₹30,000 crore (US$4.6 billion) at the start of construction itself.
Phase 2 spans a length of 72.095 km – 13.79 km underground, 0.48 km at grade and 57.825 km elevated, and adds 61 stations to the network, of which 12 are underground. Phase 2 includes the extension of the two Phase 1 corridors, as well as the construction of two new lines. The south-end of the Green Line will be extended from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura Township along the Kanakapura Road and the north-end from Hesarghatta Cross to Bangalore International Exhibition Center (BIEC) on Tumkur Road (NH-4). The east-end of the Purple Line will be extended from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield and the west-end from Mysore Road to Kengeri. A new 18.82 km long fully elevated R V Road – Bommasandra line will be constructed under Phase 2, which pass through the Electronic City. The second new line is the 21.25 km Gottigere–Nagawara line. The line is mostly underground (13.79 km), but also has a 6.98 km elevated and 0.48 km at-grade sections. There are 18 stations on the line, of which 12 are underground and 6 are elevated. Unlike Phase 1 of the project, all stations in Phase 2 will have parking facilities.
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) is responsible for acquiring land for the Phase 2. A total of 102.02 hectares (252 acres) of land is required for Phase 2 (including Phase 2A) of the project. BMRCL spent ₹5000 crore on land acquisition.
In September 2016, Chief minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah announced that a new 17 km long line connecting Silk Board with K.R. Puram would be included in Phase 2 of the project (categorized as Phase 2A). The line will be called the Outer Ring Road Metro (ORR Metro) and is proposed to have 13 stations – Silk Board, 14th Main Road in HSR Layout, Agara, Iblur Junction, Bellandur, RMZ Ecospace, New Horizon College, Rainbow Hospital, Kadubeesanahalli, Marathahalli, Doddanekundi, Mahadevapura and K.R. Puram. It is estimated to cost ₹4202 crores. The cost will be shared equally by the Centre and the State Government. The BMRC hopes to procure up to ₹2,000 crore in funding from private companies whose offices are located along the Outer Ring Road. The ORR Metro will have interchange stations with the extended Purple Line at K.R. Puram and with the proposed R V Road – Bommasandra line at Silk Board.
The BMRCL prepared the detailed project report on the proposed line, and submitted the DPR to the state government on 28 October 2016. Phase 2A was approved by the State Cabinet on 1 March 2017.
|Line||Terminals||Length||New Stations||Expected Work Completion date|
|Purple Line||Mysore Road – Challegatta near Kengeri||8.81 km||6||December 2018|
|Purple Line||Baiyyappanahalli – Whitefield||15.50 km||13||March 2023|
|Green Line||Yelachenahalli – Anjanapura||6.29 km||5||December 2018|
|Green Line||Hessarghatta Cross – BIEC||3.77 km||3||March 2023|
|Line 3||R V Road – Bommasandra||18.82 km||16||March 2023|
|Line 4||Gottigere – Nagawara – Bangalore Airport||50.87 km||24||March 2023|
|ORR Metro||Silk Board – K.R. Puram||17 km||13||2020|
The Indian Institute of Science prepared the design for the extension of Reach 1. The BMRCL spent ₹107 crore (US$16 million) to acquire 57 properties for the extension of Reach 2. An estimated 313 heritage trees are planned to be cut down to build Phase 2. On 28 February 2015, the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah set December 2020 as the deadline to complete Phase 2. In March 2017, the Karnataka Government postponed the deadline to 2022.
In October 2016, the BMRCL floated tenders for the extension of the Green Line from Nagasandra up to the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The 3.031 km extension is estimated to cost ₹247.41 crore. The contract includes the construction of the viaduct, road widening works, and construction of three elevated stations – Manjunathanagar, Jindal and BIEC. The BMRCL estimates that the work will be completed within 27 months from date that construction begins. The BMRCL also began civil work on the southern extension of the Green Line from Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura Road (6.29 km) and the western extension of the Purple Line from Mysore Road to Kengeri (8.81 km). Construction work on the Purple Line corridor was awarded in two packages for ₹660 crore, while the Green Line extension was awarded to Nagarjuna Constructions Company Ltd for ₹508.86 crore. The BMRCL floated tenders for the construction of the 15.5-km stretch from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield in December 2016.
Tenders for the construction of the R V Road – Bommasandra line were floated in 3 packages. On 9 December 2016, the agency floated tenders for the construction of 6.418 km stretch from Bommasandra to Hosa Road station, including depot entry line to Hebbagodi depot. The work involves the construction of five Metro stations — Bommasandra, Hebbagodi, Huskur Road, Electronic City-II and Electronic City-I. Tenders for the 6.38 km stretch from Hosa Road to HSR Layout were floated the next day. Work is expected to begin by June 2017, and be completed within 27 months. Both packages were awarded to Thailand-based ITD Cementation India in May 2017.
The BMRC plans to float the tenders for the construction of the 21.25 km Gottigere-Nagawara in five packages. Tunnelling and construction of the underground stations will be taken up in four packages, while the elevated viaduct and stations will make up the remaining package. The total cost of the line is estimated to be ₹11,014 crore (US$1.7 billion). The elevated section is estimated to cost ₹575.52 crore (US$88 million). In March 2017, the BMRC floated tenders for the construction of a 7.5 km elevated section between Gottigere and Swagat Cross stations (called Reach 6). The tender includes construction of the elevated viaduct, 5 stations and car depot on a 34-acre plot in Kothanur. A separate tender will be floated for the 13.9 km section of the line from Dairy Circle to Nagawara. The agency also floated tenders for the remaining section of the RV Road-Bommasandra line, the RV Road to Silk Board stretch (called Reach 5).
Phase 2 is expected to be completed in 2022.
The exact location of stations along with a map of Phases 1, 2 and 2A are shown here.
The State Urban Development Ministry proposed that Phase 3 have a total length of 127 km. The Phase will include two lines that cover the Outer Ring Road (ORR) on the eastern and western side, and additional lines to connect the lines constructed in the previous two phases. A 33 km line is proposed to cover the eastern portion of the ORR from Silk Board to Hebbal, while a 31.37 km line will cover the western portion of the road. A 21.31 km line linking Hosakerehalli to ORR at Marathahalli passing through Old Airport Road is also proposed to serve the areas of Domlur, Konena Agrahara and HAL. Other proposed lines include a 33-km line from Carmelaram(Sarjapur Road) to Yelahanka, passing through Central College, Palace Guttahalli, Mehkri Circle and Hebbal; and an 8.89 km line from Nice Road to Toll Gate (Magadi Road).
There was a proposal to build a 33 km line known as Bangalore High-Speed Rail Link, from MG Road to Bengaluru International Airport (BIA), at a cost of ₹5,767 crore (US$880 million). Previously, there was plan for an independent body, but later it was decided that BMRC will manage this project. It was later decided to build the airport link as a regular metro line.
In September 2016, RITES suggested nine possible extensions from the existing and proposed metro lines to the airport. The state government invited the public to submit feedback on their preferred route. The nine proposed extensions have an average length of 30 km, and each is estimated to cost between ₹4,500 crore and ₹7,000 crore. A 25.9 km extension from Nagawara via Kannur and Bagaluru was the shortest, while the 35.4 km extension Yeshwanthpur via Yelahanka, Kannur and Bagaluru was the longest of the proposed routes. The BMRC received 1,300 responses from the public.
A 25.9 km extension of the Gottigere–Nagawara line via Kannur and Bagaluru up to the airport emerged as the most popular choice. In February 2017, the Centre requested the BMRC to start work on the airport link before the rest of Phase 3. The Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) forbade constructing an underground road or metro tunnel from the southern side of the airport due to security reasons. Such a construction would have to pass underneath the airport's second runway before entering the terminal buildings. This restriction eliminated three of the 9 proposed extensions to the airport. All three proposals were extensions of the Gottigere-Nagwara line to the airport.
Bangalore Development Minister K.J. George announced on 12 May 2017 that the government had finalized the Nagawara-Ramakrishna Hegde Nagar-Jakkur-Yelahanka route to the airport.
Namma Metro was originally scheduled to begin operations in March 2010. Deadlines for completion were repeatedly missed, and the metro was finally opened to the public on 20 October 2011 by Union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath. There was an overwhelming response to the metro at the commencement of operations. As per BMRCL sources within first 3 days of operations 169,019 people used this mass transit system. At the end of 4th day about 200,000 passengers had already commuted in Namma Metro. Namma Metro's first 12-day cumulative revenue was ₹1 crore (US$150,000).
The State Government removed N Sivasailam as MD of Namma Metro on 10 August 2013. He was replaced by Pradeep Singh Kharola. The Green Line (Reach 3, 3A & 3B) was initially scheduled to be opened for the public by the end of 2012. However, according to the BMRCL, because of the time taken by the Indian Railways to approve works at Swastik Station and Malleswaram 66-metre metro viaduct, the Green Line was expected to open only in April–May 2013. However, the timelines were delayed further.
The line was opened to the public at 6 am on 1 March 2014. BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola stated that about 25,000 passengers travelled on the line on opening day. In the first month of operations, 7.62 lakh people at an average of 24,605 people daily used the line, generating a revenue of ₹1.5 crore (US$230,000). The first underground portion of the East-West Corridor (UG2) commenced operations on 30 April 2016, completing the entire Purple Line stretch and Phase 1, including the North-South Underground section,was completed on 18 June 2017.
Phase 1 missed nine deadlines, and its cost was revised four times. The original estimated cost of Phase 1 of the Namma Metro was ₹6,395 crore (US$980 million) when the project was approved in 2006. The expansion of the length of Phase 1 from 33 km to 42.3 km increased the total cost to ₹8,158 crore (US$1.2 billion). Delays caused further escalations in the project cost. The cost escalated to ₹11,609 crore (US$1.8 billion) in 2011, and ₹13,845 crore (US$2.1 billion) in 2015. The final cost to build Phase 1 was estimated at ₹14,405.01 crore (US$2.2 billion). Land acquisition for Phase 1 of the project cost ₹2,500 crore (US$380 million).
The Central and State Government funded 58.91% of the total project cost. The remaining 41.09% was secured through loans from domestic and foreign financial institutions. BMRCL secured ₹6,500 crore (US$1.0 billion) through long-term loans and ₹300 crore (US$46 million) by selling bonds, while the remaining project cost was funded by Central Government and the State Government. BMRCL secured loans from several agencies – ₹3,000 crore (US$460 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), ₹600 crore (US$92 million) from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO), ₹25 crore (US$3.8 million) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the rest from the French Development Agency. Approximately 10% of the ₹6500 crore must be paid as interest by the BMRCL every year. The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimated that this amounted to an interest payment of ₹2 crore (US$310,000) per day. The BMRCL refuted claims that the interest was that high, but confirmed that it was "definitely more than ₹1 crore (US$150,000) per day."
BMRCL announced plans on 13 June 2013 to issue 10-year bonds. The proposed bonds received a credit rating of "IND AA" from India Ratings & Research (Ind-Ra), a Chennai-based research company. Namma Metro MD N. Sivasailam announced on 3 August 2013 that the issue of bonds would be postponed as the market was volatile. Sivasailam stated that the metro would "be in the market soon and when it is stable."
On 3 January 2012, the Karnataka government approved a budget of ₹27,000 crore (US$4.1 billion) for Phase 2 of Namma Metro project. Phase 2 is estimated to cost ₹26,405 crore (US$4.0 billion). Land acquisition is expected to cost ₹5,000 crore (US$770 million). The Central and State Governments will fund around ₹15,000 crore of the project cost. The State and Central Governments will bear 30% and 20% of the total project cost of Phase 2 respectively. The remaining amount will be obtained through senior term loans. The BMRCL is permitted to raise up to ₹9,000 crore through loans.
On 27 March 2012, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an agreement to lend $250 million to BMRC to part-finance Phase 2 of the metro rail project. The loan marked the multilateral lending agency's foray into the urban transport sector in South Asia, the ADB said in a press release. The loan, approved by the ADB Board in March 2011, is the first ADB loan to the urban transport sector without recourse to sovereign guarantees. In 2016, the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD) sanctioned a ₹1,600 crore loan for the project. The rate of interest on the loan is linked to Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) + 130 basis points. In early 2017, the European Investment Bank agreed to loan ₹3,700 crore to the BMRCL, with a repayment period of 20 years at a rate of interest lower than the one on the AFD loan.
In May 2017, BMRC received in-principle approval from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund construction of the Gottigere-Nagawara line through a ₹3700 crore loan. The line will also be funded by the AIIB, and the Central and State Governments.
Indian firms Biocon and Infosys announced that they would provide funding for the construction of the Hebbagodi and Electronics City metro stations respectively on the Outer Ring Road Metro line. BMRC expects that each firm will contribute ₹100 crore (US$15 million) towards the project. Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stated that the company wanted to fund the project because it would help decongest the city. Both Biocon and Infosys have offices located near the stations.
During the first month, since the opening of Reach I, about 1,325,000 people traveled by the metro. On average, 41,390 people took the train every day, while the average daily revenue was ₹667,262. The BMRC earned a revenue of ₹2.1 crore (US$320,000) in its first month of operation. In the first six months of operation, average ridership went down to 24,968. The BMRC earned a total of ₹6.6 crore (US$1.0 million) during the same period. Namma Metro posted a profit of ₹41 lakh (equivalent to ₹55 lakh or US$84,000 in 2017) after almost one year of operating Reach I. BMRCL estimates that nearly 80 lakh passengers travelled on the system, in its first year of operations.
The following table shows the annual ridership and revenue of the Namma Metro since its inception.
|Year||Passengers||Revenue (₹ crore)|
The specification for rolling stock is based on stainless steel-bodied three-car formations, a trailer between two motored driving units. Internal wide gangways provide ease of passenger movement and assist in load distribution. Trains are air-conditioned throughout with designated space for disability access. Although with many automated functions, trains are under driver control.
Initially the bids by Bombardier and Siemens, Alstom Projects India Ltd and consortium comprising BEML, Mitsubishi and Hyundai Rotem were shortlisted to supply the rolling stock and coaches. In February 2009, the BEML-led consortium was awarded the contract to supply 150 coaches and rolling stock for the first phase of the project. While Mitsubishi would supply the traction for the coaches, Hyundai Rotem would supply the rolling stock and BEML would supply the coaches for Phase I. The first train set made a trial run in December 2010. In early 2017, the BMRC floated tenders for an additional 150 coaches to provide 6 coach trains on the entire Phase 1 route. On 27 March 2017, BEML announced that it had won an ₹1,421 crore contract to supply the coaches. The company stated that it would begin supplying the rolling stock by June 2018 and hand over all 150 coaches by December 2019.
All metro trains are Wi-Fi enabled (the first metro in India to have this feature), so passengers can use laptops, tablets as well as mobile internet. The free Wi-Fi service was made available to commuters on 31 July 2013. Passengers also have emergency voice communication with train staff through a speaker system. Passengers are provided with a call button to communicate anything to the driver or control center during an emergency.
Namma Metro was the second rail transport system in India (the first was Kolkata Metro) to use 750 V DC third rail traction. In December 2009, the ABB Group was awarded the contract to provide power solutions for the first phase of the planned metro network. ABB designed, supplied, installed and commissioned four substations that receive and distribute electricity, each rated at 66/33 kV, as well as the auxiliary and traction substations. ABB also provided an integrated network management system, or SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), to monitor and control the installations. The BMRC currently pays BESCOM ₹5.7 per unit of electricity.
In 2016, BMRCL signed an agreement with CleanMax Solar to set up solar installations at Baiyapanahalli and Peenya stations. After Phase 2 of the metro is complete, CleanMax Solar will set up similar installations at the metro depots in Challaghatta, Whitefield, Kothanur and Hebbagodi. Per the agreement, CleanMax Solar will bear the cost of installation and the BMRC will pay CleanMax a rate of ₹5.5 per unit of electricity for three years. Following the three-year period, all six installations will be transferred to the BMRC. According to the BMRC director of operations NM Dhoke, "The 1.4 MW installation can generate up to 10,000 units, which help power the depot facilities. However, it is not sufficient to power the trains, but it will help us save ₹51 crore over 25 years on energy."
In September 2009, the consortium led by Alstom Project India Limited were awarded a contract worth ₹563.4 crore (US$86.3 million) to supply control and signalling system for the first phase of the project. The consortium is led by Alstom and composed of Alstom Transport SA, Thales Group Portugal S A and Sumitomo Corporation. Alstom will provide the design, manufacture, supply, installing, testing and commissioning of the train control and signalling system and Thales will provide the design, installing, testing and commissioning of the telecommunication system for Phase 1 of the metro system. It includes the Urbalis 200 Automatic Train Control system which will ensure optimal safety, flexible operations and heightened passenger comfort.
The integrated control centre at Byappanahalli has direct communication with trains and stations are CCTV fitted with visual and audio service information. Passengers have emergency voice communication with train staff.
Initially, there were no toilets at Namma Metro stations, despite demand from commuters. BMRCL countered the demand by arguing that constructing toilets was not part of the metro construction plan, and that building toilets in the city was the responsibility of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). They also justified the decision by saying that commuters spent "hardly five minutes" at stations, so restrooms were not required, and also that none of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus stops in the city had toilets for passengers. However, BMRCL eventually heeded public demand, and the metro's first toilets were opened at Baiyappanahalli and Indiranagar stations on 21 June 2013. As of February 2017, there are 33 ATMs at Namma Metro stations.
On 17 February 2017, Uber announced that it would open booking counters at 12 metro stations by the end of March. The counters enable commuters to book an Uber taxi, and is aimed at commuters who do not have access to the internet or do not have the Uber app installed on their phone. Ola Cabs announced a similar arrangement on 22 February 2017.
The BMRC granted permission to Hydrobloom, a start-up company, to grow hydroponic plants on the pillars of the Namma Metro. Pillars covered with plants are referred to as vertical gardens. Hydrobloom had previously developed a vertical garden on a metro pillar near Rangoli Art Centre next to the MG Road Metro station. The gardens are intended for beautification and to reduce air pollution.
The trains are equipped with derailment prevention equipment, and the tracks are equipped with concrete barriers to prevent trains from leaving the viaduct. The support pillars are earthquake proof and are designed to have a lifespan of at least 100 years. Trains are equipped with sensors to detect impending collisions, and have automatic braking systems to prevent speed limits from being exceeded.
Yellow tactile tiles are used at all stations to guide the visually impaired. The tiles start at the ramp and lead to the staircases and lifts. Disabled and elderly passengers can avail a wheelchair at all metro stations. The wheelchair can be used by the passenger to board a train and then dropped off at the destination station. In February 2017, the BBMP and the BMRC began a project to upgrade all footpaths along the Phase 1 route. The project is estimated to cost ₹40 crore and is scheduled to be completed in 18 months.
BMRCL, in a public-private partnership, harvests rainwater from the viaducts on the rail system. The private partner, Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development (KRIDL), collects the water at multiple points, treats it, and sells it in bulk as potable water. Pipes inside each metro viaduct pillar carry the rainwater from the viaduct down to underground tanks located beneath the median. When these tanks overflow, the water is diverted to 5 metre deep rainwater harvesting pits. Two rainwater harvesting pits are installed between each pillar. The average distance between two pillars is 28 meters. As of March 2017, a 33.48 km of elevated metro are covered by the rainwater harvesting system. With the completion of Phase 2 of the metro, the BMRCL will cover a total of 58 km with rainwater harvesting systems. Around 8 crore litres of water are expected to be collected annually.
BMRCL also plans to harvest rainwater from the 140 acre depot facility at Peenya. Water will be collected from the 190,000 sq foot roof and stored in two tanks with a capacity of 50,000 litres each. Rainwater harvesting is also planned in the existing and under-construction stations. The water harvested will be supplied to places where needed, and any excess will be used for groundwater recharge.
BMRC has installed a water harvesting system along Reach 1 and will be doing the same for Reaches 3 & 4. Installation of flower beds was delayed due to garbage being dumped on the median by garbage collectors, BMRC will also set up flower beds on Reach 1 with assistance from the horticulture department. However, the work related to this has slowed down due to garbage contractors dumping garbage along the median, due to the lack of a waste management plan in the city. BMRC will rejuvenate Kengeri and Veerasandra lakes using water collected from a nearby corridor.
MIFARE DESFire platform, developed by NXP Semiconductors, was selected to manage the Automated Fare Collection (AFC) in Namma Metro. The system uses contactless smart tokens and contactless smart card. Tokens are available only for a single journey. Smart cards can be used for multiple journeys. There are 3 types of smart cards available on the metro – Varshik, Saral and Saraag.
BMRCL began selling tokens through automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) on 4 December 2012 at the MG Road, Indiranagar and Baiyyappanahalli stations. The service will eventually be expanded to all metro stations. The touchscreen enabled ATVMs are available in 3 languages – English, Kannada and Hindi. Commuters can purchase a single journey token by selecting the destination station or the amount in the ATVM. They can also add value or add trips to the contactless smart card. Commuters can purchase up to 8 tickets at a time and can get the receipt print for card recharge. ATVMs accept coins of ₹5 and ₹10 denominations and ₹10, 20, 50, 100, 500 denominations of currency notes. However, the ATVM cannot differentiate between ₹1 and ₹2 coins.
In November 2016, BMRC began accepting online payments to recharge smart cards. Tickets cannot be purchased online.
Approximately 68% of passengers on the metro use smart tokens and 32% use smart cards.
The metro service runs between 05:00 and 23:00 hours. On Sundays the service starts at 08:00 hours. There are trains every 8 minutes between 08:00 and 20:00, and every 10 minutes at other times. On weekdays, trains operate at 4-minute intervals between 09:00 and 10:00. The headway on the entire system is slated to decrease to once every three minutes after the completion of Phase I. The end-to-end travel time on the Purple Line is 35 minutes, and on the Green Line will be 45 minutes.
As of December 2017, daily ridership on Namma Metro averaged between 360,000 and 370,000 passengers. The annual ridership in the 2015–16 fiscal year was 16.8 million. Statistics for the annual ridership of the entire phase 1 network is awaited.
The highest recorded daily ridership on the Namma Metro was 4,10,050 commuters on 28 September 2017. The revenue through ticketing fare touched an all-time high of approximately Rs 9,576,000.
The system is designed for a maximum train speed of 80 km/h. However, the Research Design and Standards Organization (RDSO) fixed the speed at which trains are allowed commercially operate at 67.50 km/h on straight sections, 35 km/h on curves, and 45 km/h in stations.
The Karnataka State Industrial Security Force (KISF) is responsible for security on the Namma Metro. Bangalore Police conducted detailed mock drills at metro stations for the first time on 25 March 2017. Police officials stated that the drill was to assess readiness to deal with situations such as hoax bomb calls, terrorist infiltration or attacks. Sniffer dogs, bomb detection and disposal squad, anti-sabotage squad and Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) were involved in the drill. Police had previously conducted basic mock drills, but this was the first one aimed toward dealing with specific threats. The chosen day was a Saturday, when crowds are usually larger, in order to make the drill more challenging for officers. The BMRCL has not informed of the drill in advance.
The Bangalore Metro Rail (Carriage and Ticket) Rules 2011 limit the weight of personal baggage to 15 kg. Rule 3 says: "No person shall, while travelling in metro railway, carry with him any goods other than a small baggage containing personal belongings not exceeding 60cm x 45cm x 25cm in size and 15kg in weight, except with the prior approval of the metro railway administration." The rules also prohibit carrying explosive, inflammable, and poisonous substances.
The Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act, 2002, imposes fines and in some cases jail sentences for offences committed on the metro. Anyone indulging in sabotaging the train or maliciously hurting or attempting to hurt other passengers while travelling in the metro can face imprisonment up to 10 years. Pasting posters or drawing graffiti on the walls of stations or trains is punishable by a fine of ₹1,000 or imprisonment for up to 6 months. Traveling in an inebriated state or creating nuisance in the train is punishable by a ₹500 fine. Passengers are monitored at security checkpoints and those that are causing trouble, heavily drunk, or carrying forbidden items are not permitted to board. Spitting on the metro premises is punishable by a fine of ₹100.
The BMRCL launched a Namma Metro app for Android devices in 2013. However, it had limited features. The app was officially re-launched on 4 November 2016 with additional features. The app was developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). The app allows users to purchase and recharge smart cards, locate nearby metro stations and also provides information related to parking, train frequency, route map, and fare details.
Several films and commercials have been shot on the Namma Metro premises. The BMRCL charges ₹50,000 (US$770) for shooting inside a metro station, and ₹40,000 (US$610) for shoots inside a metro train during peak hours between 6 am to 10 pm. During non-peak hours, from 10 pm to 4 am, the agency charges ₹50,000 (US$770) for shoots inside metro stations and ₹20,000 (US$310) inside a train. The film producers must also make a security deposits of ₹5 lakh (US$7,700), as insurance for metro property. Film shoots are permitted during three slots – 6 to 8 am, 12 pm to 2 pm and 9 to 11 pm. Kannada films can avail lower rates.
In December 2016, Tamil film Imaikkaa Nodigal became the first film to shoot scenes inside the underground tunnel stretch of the Purple Line. According to BMRC officials, prior to this film, one Kannada film, one Telugu film and several commercials had been shot on the Namma Metro premises.
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