Transportation in Bengaluru is relatively chaotic as it is the norm of Indian cities. Yet, there is even a metro, so getting around with public transportation isn’t impossible!
When it comes to transportation guides, things get complicated when it comes to India. Most cities don’t really have a published transportation system, but most buses mainly run infrequent and without a fixed set of stations.
Yet, India has a rather developed train network with regular connections between different cities, which you can also make use of to get to Bengaluru. Yet, you should be aware that train travel in India comes with a lot of downsides like weak operations and slow speed.
Bengaluru is one of few cities in India (Delhi and Mumbai being two others), which has a metro system. The Bangalore Metro is also known as Namma Metro, which stands for “our metro”. The Bangalore Metro is quite a project, which is supposed to be finished by 2020 (delays are to be expected). As of now, just two of the many planned lines of the metro in Bengaluru are in operations and even those are not finshed yet.
This also leads to the weird situation that both lines are not interconnected as of now. Kempegowda Interchange will be the first connecting station, which will connect the green and the purple line by the end of 2016. Generally, the metro in Bengaluru is extremly safe and clean (there are even security checks before entering the system). While still cheap for Westerners, the metro in Bengaluru is relatively expensive for Indian standards.
As it is the norm for India, buses are the backbone of the public transportation system. However, if you are a tourist, it is not recommendable to use the buses as there are neither published timetables nor published fares. While extremely cheap, the buses are also very old and thus not very safe. There are several accidents with buses involved in Bengaluru each year.
If you want to use a bus in Bengaluru anyway, it is recommendable to get some advice from hotel employees or your host on how to properly use the buses in Bengaluru to get to your destination. There is also a bus service to the airport, which is said to be relatively safe and convenient. Check out our airport guide for more information!
Bengaluru also comes with several taxis. Here again, you have to take into account that you are in India, which means that taxis are not any luxurious nor should expect a large car. Many taxis are just very small cars, which can be very old and lack typical safety standards. Anyway, taxis are among the best means of transport to get around in Bengaluru as a tourist.
The prices for taxis in Bengaluru are quite low with short rides in the city costing not more than 100 to 200 INR (~ 1.35 to 1.70 Euro / 1.5 to 2 US-Dollar) and rides to the airport being priced at approximately 700 INR (~ 9 Euro / 10 US-Dollar). However, be aware that the traffic in Bengaluru can be a nightmare, which means that it can take up to two hours to get to the airport.
Bengaluru is one of the most important cities in India when it comes to economy (especially in the tech sector). Thus, it’s not surprising that you can also make use of apps like Uber or Ola (an Uber equivalent). Both are a little challenging to use in India as it is hard to find your driver on the one hand and successfully enter the right address on the other hand. Nevertheless, the quality of the Uber’s I took in Bengaluru and around India was slightly better than the quality of taxis. Plus, the prices are lower. Another option to get around in Bengaluru are rickshaws. Yet, you need to be quite good in negotiating with the drivers to get a fair price as a tourist. Also, be aware of the low safety standards of rickshaws in Bengaluru!