Residents in numerous layouts and apartment communities in and around the Kadugodi area north of Whitefield have something to cheer. After a long wait, BMTC launched an extension of the 335E Vajra (Volvo) AC bus service to Hoskote. The route is 335-EK and runs along the Whitefield Hoskote Road connecting the Kadugodi bus terminus to Hoskote terminus.
Many citizens in this area have been asking for an extension of this service for a few years now. Petitions had been sent to BMTC in late 2010 and early 2011. At that time BMTC officials had said they would need to survey commuter interests in the area before taking a decision.
The just-launched 335-EK will run across the entrances of a number of communities such as 10 Downing, Chaithanya Samarpan, Akshaya Redstone, Janapriya Apartments, Nitesh Estates, Purab Manor, Golden Blossom and more. Citizens commuting to ITPL, KTPL, Brookfields and into city areas of Old Airport Road and the central business district surrounding M G Road area, now have a direct connection.
Prior to this, public-transport-interested citizens had to use the regular non-AC buses to get to Kadugodi bus stand and hop-on to a regular 335-E Vajra. Unlike Volvo 335E, the 335-EK bus takes a shortcut near the iGate and Kalyani Platina office complexes and reaches Cosmos Mall faster. 335E has to come through the Graphite India Signal (T Junction), which is usually jammed heavily at peak hours.
There are five BMTC bus stops between Golden Blossom at Kadugodi flyover and 10 Downing. Their informal names are: Kadugodi flyover, Bethur, Seeghehalli, Shell Petrol Bunk, and Sai Lakshmi. There are also stops between Sai Lakshmi and the NH-4 intersection including one near the Safal supermarket.
BMTC’s initial frequency plan for 335-EK at the Majestic and Hoskote ends is below. Some citizens are worried that BMTC may use the service experimentally and pull out later if ridership targets are not met.
Speaking to Citizen Matters, BMTC Divisional Controller K M Auradkar declined comment on whether this was an experimental service. “We would like the citizens of the area to use the service in large numbers”, is all he would say on the record.⊕