The Bangalore Metro train (known as Namma Metro) commenced operations in October 2011. A much-anticipated feature of public transportation in Bangalore, Namma Metro had been in the pipeline for more than two decades. It is the second-longest Metro rapid transit system in India after the Delhi Metro. It was also the first Metro system in South India. Daily ridership is about 500,000 passengers. The trains are air-conditioned and travel at a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
Here's what you need to know about the Bangalore Metro.
Bangalore Metro Construction and Phases
Bangalore's Metro is being built in stages and still under construction. The first phase consists of two lines -- the North-South corridor (Green Line) and East-West corridor (Purple Line). It and covers a total of 42.30 kilometers and has 40 stations. Its sixth and final section was inaugurated in June 2017.
Construction on the second phase started in September 2015. This phase stretches for 73.95 kilometers, of which almost 14 kilometers will be underground. It consists of an extension of both the Green and Purple lines, plus the addition of new Yellow and Pink lines. Unfortunately, work has been slow to progress due to funding issues. As a result, the majority of contracts weren't awarded until the first half of 2017. The COVID-19 pandemic and other issues such as land acquisition have also delayed the works.
Extension of the south-end of the Green Line to Anjanapura (Silk Institute) was completed in late 2020. However, the Green Line's north-end extension to Madavara won't be finished until at least January 2022. The Purple Line's west-end extension to Challeghata is now expected to be completed by March 2021, while completion of its east-end extension to Whitefield has been pushed out to June 2022. The remainder -- a Yellow Line from RV Road to Bommasandra via Electronic City, and a Pink Line from Gottigere to Nagavara -- won't become operational until March 2022 and June 2024 respectively.
Phase 2A of the project consists of an elevated Blue Line that will run along Bangalore's Outer Ring Road, connecting the tech corridor KR Puram with Central Silkboard. The line will be extended from KR Puram to Bangalore Airport under Phase 2B. Government approvals have delayed this part of the project, which is now expected to be completed sometime around 2024.
Phase 3 is still being planned. Construction isn't expected to begin until 2025, with projected completion in the mid 2030s.
Bangalore Metro Route and Stations
- The East-West Purple Line currently starts at Baiyappanahalli and ends at Mysore Road. It has 17 functional stations, with 20 more to be added.
- The North-South Green Line currently starts at Nagasandra (Hesaraghatta Cross) and ends at Anjanapura (Silk Institute). It's has 29 functional stations, with three more to be added.
Kempegowda Majestic is an interchange station between Green and Purple lines. A map of the Bangalore Metro is available here.
Tourists who are interested in sightseeing will find popular Bangalore attractions such as Cubbon Park, Vidhana Soudha, MG Road, Indiranagar, and Halasuru (Ulsoor) on the Purple Line. Krishna Rajendra (KR) Market and Lalbagh are stops on the Green Line. Those keen on heritage can also take the Green Line to Sampige Road in Malleswaram, one of Bangalore’s oldest neighborhoods (go on this walking tour to explore it). The huge fabric market at Srirampura on the Green Line may also be of interest. If you want to visit Bangalore's famous ISKCON temple, disembark the Green Line at Mahalaxmi or Sandal Soap Factory.
Bangalore Metro Timetable
Train services on the Purple and Green lines usually start at 5 a.m. and run until 11.25 p.m. (last departure from Kempegowda Majestic Interchange Station) daily, except Sundays. On Sundays, the first trains usually commence running at 8 a.m. However, reduced operational hours, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., are currently in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The frequency of trains on both lines currently ranges from 12 to five minutes.
Fares and Tickets
Those traveling on the Bangalore Metro usually have the option of purchasing Smart Tokens or Smart Cards. However, token sales at counters have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Smart Tokens for single trips are available at ticket counters and vending machines at the train stations. Each one is valid for a single journey on the day of purchase. When entering a station, swipe the token at the entry gate. When departing a station, drop it in the slot at the exit gate. The minimum fare is 10 rupees.
- Contactless Smart Cards for multiple trips can also be purchased from stations and offer discounts of 5% on the fare. The cards are swiped at entry and exit points at the stations, and the fare is deducted. The minimum fare is 9.5 rupees. New users will be required to spend 100 rupees in addition to the fare, consisting of 50 rupees to purchase the Smart Card and 50 rupees to maintain minimum balance. The cards can store up to 3,000 rupees.
The maximum, end to end, fare is 60 rupees on both the Purple and Green lines.
More information is available on the Bangalore Metro website.
In order to ensure women's safety, the first carriage of all new six-carriage Metro trains has been reserved for females. The rule doesn't apply to the few remaining trains with three carriages.