A comparison of the available mode of transport shows that compared to four trains to Bangalore every day, there are at least 75 private luxury buses operating on the Hyderabad-Bangalore sector every day. As many as 1,500 seats are up for grabs in these buses, which start departing from the city between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The average travel time of these buses ranges between eight hours and eleven hours. After the introduction of multi-axle Volvo and Benz luxury buses, semi sleeper and sleeper coaches, passengers prefer them compared to trains that take about 11 to 12 hours to reach Bangalore.
“I don’t mind spending Rs. 1,000 to 1,250 for a ticket in a luxury bus because AC second and third class train tickets range between Rs. 900 and Rs. 1,300. Moreover, it’s impossible to get a confirmed ticket at short notice so a hi-tech bus suits my needs,” feels Jagdeesh Muniswamy, a business analyst.
With the reservation period brought from 120 days to 60 days, there is uncertainty over securing a confirmed ticket. In emergencies, travellers try Tatkal train tickets or take recourse to book bus tickets online through ticket portals.
Two trains (Bangalore and Yeshwantpur expresses) originate from Kacheguda station leave at 7.05 p.m. and 9.05 p.m. to reach Bangalore at 6.20 a.m. and 10.30 a.m., respectively. Bangalore ‘Garib Rath’ departs at 7.30 p.m. to reach Yeshwantpur at 7.45 a.m., a time quite inconvenient for techies to reach their offices.
It’s tough to get confirmed tickets for Hazrath Nizamuddin-Bangalore Rajdhani Express, which departs from Secunderabad at 6.50 p.m. and reaches Bangalore at 6.40 a.m. “It’s easy for us to take late night bus to Bangalore after working late in the office. By sunrise, I can reach Bangalore and head to office. In weekends, though there is demand and bus operators do jack up ticket prices,” says T. Sendil, an IT professional.
High cost seldom deters travellers from buying tickets in the last moment. “I also have the option of boarding the bus from three to four different locations, which is not the case in trains. There are 10 to 15 different pick-up points to choose from,” says Sai Pratap, a marketing executive. There are also over a dozen direct flights to Bangalore, which offer tickets between Rs. 2,200 to Rs. 10,500. “The flight tickets are costly and Bangalore airport is 40 kilometres from the city. This is very inconvenient for me,” says another frequent traveller Arunal Raja.