The Metro is Namma, but what about its parking lot?

A commuter who wants to park her car in Metro station finds private 'for hire' vehicles parked there. Have you too faced this situation?

A fortnight back I had to go to M G Road in Bengaluru for some urgent work in the middle of a week day. As anyone living in the Whitefield suburbs will testify, it can take anywhere between one to two hours to do so, maybe even more! However this is not a rant about the situation of our roads or traffic. I decided to shorten my commute time by taking the Metro from Baiyappanahalli Metro station to M G Road.

Upon arriving at the Baiyappanahalli Metro station, much to my horror I found that all the parking slots were completely full. There was a board indicating the same, the booth was empty and the team operating the booth were having a productive day on their mobile devices.

After a 5-min long heated discussion, one of them finally agreed to check the parking lot “on foot” and magically 2-3 slots opened up. However this is not even a piece on the inefficiency of the operating booth staff who by the way, delighted me when I exited the parking lot by again leaving the booth unattended! 

Once inside the parking area, I found that the parking area had a number of cars marked as “Zoom cars”. I understand this is a commercial outfit that rents out cars. I counted at least 12 zoom cars parked at the Baiyappanahalli Metro parking lot (in the section that I had parked).

Many yellow board cars parked in Namma Metro station in Baiyappanahalli. Pic: Karishma Khanna

A couple of days later, I had a similar experience once again at the Baiyappanahalli Metro station. A number of Zoom cars were parked at the Metro while I had to wait for a spot to open up. When I asked the operating booth staff regarding this, they coolly indicated that these “special” vehicles are paying the same parking fees as any regular commuter and so I should have no reason for any line of questioning. The confidence with which this answer was given made it pretty clear to me, that this is a regular situation at this parking lot.

I would have assumed the Metro parking lot was for the convenience of ordinary tax-paying commuters, and not for a commercial establishment like Zoom-cars to park their assets! Had I not struggled to find a parking spot, I would have probably thought perhaps the government is making an extra buck or 2 by keeping these parking slots full.

However Master Google coughed up some news clips from 2012 and Wikipedia indicating that the parking lot is being run by a private organization Central Parking Services (CPS). The news clip also says that parking management and guidance systems are supposed to indicate the number of available slots, while CPS team at Baiyappanahalli failed at.

So the question that arises: has Central Parking Services then made the area available for a commercial Car Company to park its vehicles, at the cost of ordinary commuters not finding any available slots? Is the government aware of this situation that out of a said 100-odd car parking slots, 10% (maybe more?!) slots are being occupied by a commercial outfit? Does this not classify as a misuse of a parking lot meant for ordinary tax-paying Metro commuters?

Are you a regular commuter on this route or perhaps another Nammu Metro route? Have you faced a similar issue and do you think it is fair for ordinary citizens of Bengaluru to have to go through this inconvenience? Let’s speak up and bring this to the attention of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

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Building Namma Metro: What it takes
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  1. Vishwas says:

    Zoom car is notorious for parking illegally. At least in this case they seem to be paying. Their cars proudly occupy the footpath in 5th block Jayanagar 40th cross next to the Mainland China. To translate a popular saying in Kannada – No Askers to Tellers πŸ˜‰

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