June 20th, 2016 by admin

Bangalore Namma metro had completed Phase I and launched the service in the last days of April, 2016. As a curious resident of Bangalore, we went for test ride on Bangalore Namma metro. We boarded at Indiranagar station and traveled the complete route to Mysore road. If you buy ticket over the counter it will cost Rs 36 and if you pay via Metro card then it costs Rs 31. As of now, Phase I starts from Byappanahalli and ends at Mysore road. The stations are as follows:

  1. Byappanahalli
  2. Vivekananda road
  3. Indiranagar
  4. Ulsoor
  5. Trinity circle
  6. MG road
  7. Cubbon park
  8. Central college
  9. Vidhana Soudha
  10. City railway station
  11. Magadi road
  12. Hosahalli
  13. Vijaynagar
  14. Athiguppe
  15. Deepanjali nagar
  16. Mysore road

The train runs from 6 AM in the morning to 10 PM in the night at a frequency of about 15 minutes.

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Bangalore Metro Phase One

Mysore road flyover

I thought the crowd on the first weekend after the inauguration was curiosity crowd but looks like Namma Metro has got huge ridership. The coaches are very crowded. If you are able to get a seat, you can consider yourself very lucky. It’s going to be 2 month, the purple line was inaugurated but I think Namma Metro still should improve the feeder services to the Metro stations. The great thing about travelling on Metro is a traffic free route. It also gives one some kind of confidence that one will reach their destination on a stipulated time. Travel from Byappanahalli to Mysore road station takes around 45 minutes. This is unthinkable during normal day hours. The AC coaches gives a good ride and my main buying point is savings in travel time if I am traveling in that route. The agencies and government should expedite the inauguration of the complete Green line and work on phase III. This way our Bangalore will have a reliable mode of transport.

June 6th, 2016 by admin

oia outstation

It was all but a natural next step for Ola. As it was already providing intra city cab services, it was better placed to provide outstation services. This will help a lot of people to easily and quickly book cars for outstation travel from Bangalore. As this cars will be managed by a well know brand like Ola, it should also increase better customer service and accountability. This is a god send for unplanned travel and will be definitely enjoyed by frequent travelers / travel bloggers.

How to book your outstation travel on Ola mobile app?

  • Open the Ola App
  • Choose the ‘Outstation’ category
  • Enter the drop location
  • Enter the number of days for your trip (1-10 days)
  • Click ‘Confirm’ and get your ride within 2 hours

Refer the screenshot below to notice the new outstation icon.

ola app screenshot

I checked Ola’s blog post on June 1, 2016 for outstation category launch and found some interesting details:

There are some terms and conditions to the usage:

  • Cabs are subject to availability (this is well known )
  • Maximum expected time of arrival is 2 hours ( This is good)
  • All payments will be made in cash (did drivers did not agree to Ola money!!)
  • Your ride is always billed as a round trip. ( If you are going to travel one way than this is a loss making deal). Refer the app for complete details of fare.

 

  City   Type   Base fare   Per km Charges  Night Charges   Ride time charges
  Bangalore   Mini  Rs 2250 for first 250 kms for 24 hours   Rs 9/km  Rs 250 per night NA
  Bangalore   Prime  Rs 2500 for first 250 kms for 24 hours   Rs 11/km  Rs 250 per night NA

The rates for Delhi – NCR region is lesser than Bangalore.

Rs 8 / KM for Mini

Rs 10 / KM for Prime

Also, the base fare for mini is Rs 2000, where as it is Rs 2250 in Bangalore. Just thinking what makes things outright costlier in Bangalore!!

June 4th, 2016 by admin

ola

I was very thrilled with the launch of taxi aggregators Ola, Uber and Taxi for sure in Bangalore. The app based interface brought ease while traveling within the city.

As in these days of e-commerce, we have the bonanza of discounts and the promoter throws in all sort of possible freebies. Similarly, when Ola started they provided discounts with coupon codes, discounts with Ola money to make people start using their e-commerce wallet, first ride free whenever a new category of service launched. Initially the promotion is understood. However, apart from the promotion their rates earlier made sense. Now a days on many occasions the pricing is hard to make sense.

Let’s take an example of my recent ride on Ola during normal hours (that is no peak surcharge).

ola-bill-june-2016

Vehicle category: Prime

Car model: Toyota Etios

If we do a breakup of cost per KM, than for the first 4 km its Rs 20 / KM. Then for the next 8.98 KM it is Rs 13 / KM.

Also, they charge based on the total travel time – Rs 59.77 for 59.77 min. So there is also a time charge of Rs 1 / minute.

I think here we have a contradiction. Is it fair to run two meters at the same time? One based on distance and one based on time. Ola is charging its customers based on two parameters at the same time. I think, the meter based on time should run only for wait time. That is when the driver is waiting for the customer after he arrived at the customer’s location and when the vehicle is at a standstill in traffic.

Now let’s take an example of a ride deemed peak hours by Ola.

ola-bill-may-2016

Vehicle category: Prime

Car model: Swift Dzire

The travel was done in the month of May, 2016. Notice the peak pricing cost of 1.5x – Rs 170.53. If I deduct the peak pricing cost of Rs 170.53 from the total bill of Rs 541, the actual bill will be Rs 371. I can somehow fathom the amount of Rs 371 for a travel distance of 21.14 KM, which gives a cost of Rs 17.54 / KM. But an amount of Rs 541 to cover a distance of 21.14 KM within Bangalore city looks far fetched. Here, they are charging on 3 parameters at the same time – distance, time and peak pricing 1.5x. Looks like they are trying to make money in name of making vehicles available and deeming peak hours. Also, they might be doing this to lure drivers. But Ola should understand that charging unreasonable price will cost it customers in the long run. More importantly it will hurt ridership during the so called peak hours.

I have observed the peak hours pricing for sometime and noticed a pattern. Now I can more or less figure out the peak hour timings and I will try my best not to travel during these hours unless really needed.

March 16th, 2016 by admin

By the end of February, summer starts in Bangalore and this time by the middle of March it was pretty hot. Last couple of days, it was almost on everyone’s mouth that it’s so hot. Then came the Bangalore special yesterday. It rained!! The first blazing rain of the season.

I remember during my early college days in Bangalore one teacher said, “whenever it becomes very hot, from somewhere clouds will come and it will rain”. This has been the Bangalore of my dream. I just fear how long it can sustain the onslaught of population, construction, pollution and destruction of its nature.

Colleagues and friends were posting on social media that it was raining in their area, while it did not started raining in our area yet. But the cloudy onset itself was so soothing and cool.
On the way to office the blazing rain started. It was as if nature was cleaning itself. As usual when it rains heavily, it creates a horde of traffic in Bangalore. After a while I slept off and woke up only at the gate of the office.

Enjoy some pictures from yesterday. Cheers!!

To view more pictures visit: Travelingbeats Photo Gallery

May 4th, 2015 by admin

Today I woke up early in the morning. Around 6 am, I went to the balcony. There one of our neighborhood Squirrel was sitting on the rim of the opposite house’s 2nd floor and relishing his/her early morning breakfast – a piece of coconut. Yes captured and sharing here.

squirrel

April 20th, 2015 by admin

Skandagiri used to be a much sought after trekking destination due to its mist covered hills in the morning and an amazing sunrise. But that changed after a few mishaps and incidents of crime. Here the cops came in and to stops the mishaps slapped a ban on trekking here along with the forest department. Located at a distance of around 60 km from Bangalore, Skandagiri was a popular trekking destination. Most of the trekking used to take place in the night as done by a fellow blogger Sankara. The full moon night trekking was highly prized one.

The good news is the nostalgia can be relived again with the forest department deciding to open Skandagiri for trekking again. The forest department of Karnataka has prescribed supervised and guided treks. We will have to wait little bit to see what the modalities will be. Whether it will be only forest department authorized agencies or one can hire locals as well, is still to be out. We definitely need to prevent the mishaps but also need to allow professionals, students and tourists to unwind alike.

Let the days of trekking to Skandagiri be back!!

Check some images of Skandagiri from my Travelingbeats Photo Gallery.

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