When the full 43 kilometres of Bengaluru Metro’s Purple Line from Challaghatta in the city’s western suburbs to Whitefield (Kadugodi) in the east opened on 9 October, without fanfare, the daily ridership on the sector between Baiyappanhalli and Whitefield jumped tenfold from 28,000 to over 2.8 lakh.
The reason? Finally after long delays, the entire technology corridor from Krishna Raj Pura (KR Pura), two stations from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield, was connected to rest of the metro’s Green and Purple lines enabling lakhs of infotech professionals to forsake private cars and cabs and embrace the metro.
For many, it meant cutting an hour or 90 minutes each way from their daily commute — while cutting down the expense, one way from a few hundred rupees to Rs 60 or less.
In effect, the new line whose entire length is covered in 80 minutes instead of 2 hours or more by road with trains every 10 minutes — 3-5 minutes in some sections at peak hours — enabled Benguluru techies to attend work in the Whitefield technology area from wherever they lived — well, almost.
Those in the southern bedroom suburbs of JP Nagar and Jayanagar, could take the Green Line and change at the Majestic interchange to the Purple Line, as could those in the northern regions of the city — Malleswaram, Yeshwantpur and Jalahalli.
And for those living in the western suburbs of Vijaynagar, or the new towns of Kengeri, it was a nonstop, no-change journey home on the Purple Line which also touched the central business district around MG Road and the bustling Indira Nagar area.
Unique Tech Umbilical
The 13 km from KR Pura to Whitefield is now a unique section — a sort of 'Techies’ Special', its 10 halts touching almost every major information technology company that makes its home in Bengaluru. There is arguably no equivalent tech corridor served by an urban metro line anywhere in the world.
First stop after KR Pura is Singayyanapalya, home to the largest HP Enterprise facility in the city.
Next, alight at Garudacharapalya for large private tech parks like Brigade Metropolis Summit, home to Capgemini, EY and others as well as the Bhoruka Tech Park and the Nalapad Brigade Centre housing dozens of smaller tech outfits.
Hoodi is the stop for the large NetApp facility , the offices of Airbus, ABB as well as the Brigade Southfields tech park.
Seetharamapalya connects to the Visvesvaraya Industrial Area, a cluster of traditional small industries as well as the IFB facility and tech companies housed in Prestige Technostar and Bagmane Solarium.
The metro line swings south here to touch SAP Labs at the Kundalahalli station, which is closest for other companies including Qualcomm, WNS and the RMZ Nxt tech park.
Next stop, Nallurahalli is opposite GE Healthcare and the large exhibition centre of the Karnataka Trade Promotion Organisation. A little away are the offices of Tesco, Huawei, Accenture and the Brigade IRV Centre whose shell office spaces are home to many startups
The Sathya Sai Hospital stop is close by the Daimler Truck Innovation Centre, the SJR Park and the Gopalan Global Axis, which houses companies like Oracle Financial Services , while LTI Mindtree is just down the road.
Largest And Oldest Tech Park
Whitefield’s largest tech centre and Bengaluru’s first integrated tech park — the 69 acre International Tech Park Bangalore (ITPB) — comes next opposite the Pattanduru Agrahara stop.
Home to some 85 tech companies including biggies like AT&T, General Motors, Atos, Xerox, Sharp and Applied Materials, the park started by Singapore-based Ascendas in 1994 welcomes nearly 35,000 tech professionals and ancillary workers everyday.
It is an integrated facility complete with a mall — the Park Square — and the five star Vivanta by Taj Hotel.
The stop also serves the nearby tech companies including UST Global , CapGemini, Canon Credit Suisse, Nielsen, VMware and Oracle housed in the Prestige Shantiniketan Tech park and integrated township which includes a separate residential section of apartments and a mall.
The Kadugodi Tree Park is a recently created green retreat — and the stop is the place to find IT companies within the Salarpuria GR TechPark ( TCS, HCL) and Brigade Tech Park as well as the TCS building housed in Brigade Bhuwalka Icon. A new Titanium Tech Park is coming up next to the metro station.
The Hope Farm is the next stop as yet with no IT companies — but that is set to change as the Sumadhura Group is putting the finishing touches to a vast new commercial complex called Capitol Towers.
The last stop is Whitefield which is convenient for the Bengaluru city bus terminus as well as the Whitefield mainline railway station — a neat way for techies who want a weekend getaway by the few Chennai-bound trains that stop there.
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