Wednesday, March 14, 2007

340N - BMTC Volvo Service to HSR and Koramangala - (Route Withdrawn)

Latest information on bus routes connecting HSR Layout is available here:

Jan 22, 2008: This route has been withdrawn by BMTC. There were not enough users. Sad.

Apr 16, 2007: Some updates: The BMTC website now lists the timings and route information for 340N:
The buses on this route still run nearly empty most of the time. Fares have been reduced yesterday. Do give it a try before BMTC re-deploys these buses on more lucrative routes (335E often has standing passengers) to cut losses.

BMTC has started a new Volvo bus route from Majestic to HSR Layout (Sector 1 and 2) via Koramangala. That means hassle-free, comfortable rides in air-conditioned comfort if your office falls on this route. BMTC has a web-page that lists all Volvo bus routes, timings and fares at Route 340 N isn't listed yet. But for a brief report in the papers on the day of the launch, there's no information on the exact route or the timings. Consequently, there aren't many users of this service yet. I wish BMTC did better by putting up the details at the bus-stops on this route. Here are the details I've gathered so far from using this service over the last two weeks.

The Route
New: I got a Google Maps API key. Here's my first try at the API. View 340N route on Google Maps. I wonder why Google hasn't come up with simpler ways of marking points and paths on their maps without using an API/javascript.
From HSR Layout: Parangipalya (2nd sector), CDWD Quarters/FoodDays, Agara, Jakkasandra (Koramangala 1st block), Sony World Junction, National Games Village, Koramangala Police Station, Raheja Arcade/Forum, Adugodi, Elgin Prestige, Richmond Road, Corporation, Mysore Bank, Majestic.

From Majestic: It's nearly the same route in reverse except that it comes via Subbiah cirle (beginning of Lalbagh road), crosses Double Road under the flyover, DivyaSree Chambers, Nanjappa circle, Langford Road, Elgin Prestige, Adugodi.

There are two buses on this route. Officially the frequency is one every 45 minutes, but due to the traffic on the route, it's lower than that. This timings aren't stable yet. (Schedule is now available on the BMTC site.) The first bus from HSR starts between 7:45 and 8:00 am on most days. This is the one I use. It drops me at Richmond road by 8:40 am latest. If I'm lucky, I get the return bus in the evening at around 6 pm from the Double Road junction. Check the official schedule. There are changes in the evening schedules.

Minimum fare is Rs. 15 (Rs. 12 during non peak hours). If you have a Pushpak pass, you can get a concessional fare of Rs. 20 for the full trip. Wait for the fare chart and schedule on The fares have been reduced from April 15th and the pass holder concessions are gone. That doesn't affect me since the revised fare from HSR to Corporation is Rs. 20 (30 earlier), the same as the concessional fare for Pushpak pass holders. Costs Rs. 15 to Koramangala, 20 to Corporation and 25 to Majestic from HSR now.

Bus Location by SMS
There's an interesting SMS service being tried out with the Volvo buses. These buses have GPS on them and you can get the current location of buses on any route by sending an SMS. The details are available here: The project is in pilot stages now and available on two routes. (Available on almost all Volvo routes.) Simple services like these can go a long way in keeping cars off the roads. Apparently most of the regular BMTC buses too have GPS trackers on them.
Update (23 March 07):The SMS service works for 340 N too. Send "Yi V340N U" to 99456 34666 to know where the bus heading to HSR is. Change the U to D to get the location of the bus towards Majestic. It works fine most of the time. Yesterday, I used it to track the bus in the evening and left office at just the right time.