Bangalore Metropolitan Transportation Corporation (BMTC) provides city and suburban bus services in Bangalore. Here is some info to help you start using BMTC buses.

Are their helplines to help me find my routes?
What are the various BMTC routes?
Regular routes, Big10, Big Circle, Inner Circle, Vajra Premium Services, Airport services
How much should I pay for tickets?
How and where can I get bus passes?

Are their helplines to help me find my routes?

BMTC Hot Line numbers: 1800-425-1663, 1266 (BSNL Only) and 22029935
They provide information on routes and bus pass information. It is available 24x7.

What are the various BMTC routes?

BMTC operates buses of various classes from regular to premium A/C buses, which differ in ticket rates.

Regular Routes

There are 4500 odd individual routes in this category. A given route and its variations are grouped together. For e.g., Route 201G is a subset of Route 201 and it covers more than 60% of Route 201. Any new route will be named with the existing route followed by an alphabet, if the new route follows 60% of the existing route. Otherwise it will be given a new route number.

To find the route information for regular buses as of Aug 2009, click here. You can search by start and end points or by bus numbers.

The complete list of stops is not available for each route, so multiple-leg bus journey plans are not optimised. Some routes have special services for ladies.

The KR Market bus stand, Kempe Gowda (Majestic) Bus stand and Shivaji nagar are the major centres of the basic 'hub and spoke' BMTC route system. It is easy to find bus going to most areas of the city at these major terminals.

Some of the other bus stands include: Shantinagar, Shivajinagar (Central), Hebbal, Malleswaram, Yeshwantpur (North), Vijaynagar, Chandra Layout, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Basaveshvar Nagar (West), Jayanagar, Banashankari, BTM Layout (South), Domlur, Kadugodi (East).

Directional and Grid routes

There are new "Direction-based" bus services (introduced in 2009). The Big10 and BigCircle buses, run on main roads, and together they form a simple grid.

BMTC directional and grid routes

Overview of grid routes. Click to enlarge.

Big10

There are 12 major roads in and out of the city, and on each of these a Big10 route is operated, each with frequency of one bus about every 10-15 minutes.

BMTC Big10 routes

Big10 green routes. Click to enlarge.

1. HAL Airport Road: M G Road (Mayo Hall) to Kadugodi
2. Hosur Road: Brigade Road to Electronics City
3. Sarjapur Road: M G Road (Mayo Hall) to Sarjapura
4. Bannerghatta Road: Brigade Road to Bannerghatta National Park
5. Kanakapura Road: Corporation Circle to Kaggalipura
6. Mysore Road: Corporation Circle to Kengeri Satellite Town
7. Magadi Road: Kempegowda Bus Stand to Gollarahatti
8. Tumkur Road: Cubbon Road (Minsk Square) to Nelamangala
9. Bellary Road: Cubbon Road to Yelahanka New Town
10. Old Madras Road: Trinity Circle to K.R. Puram
11. Hennur Road: Balekundri Circle to Bagaluru
12. Tannery Road: Corporation Circle to Ramakrishna Hegade Nagara

See the time of first and last trips here.

For the detailed routes including list of stops of the Big10 buses, click here.

Blue Big 10

Big10 Blue routes. Click to enlarge.

Green Big10 buses run on a single main road whereas Blue Big10 buses connect two such roads (e.g. Hosur Road to Tumkur Road).

Blue Routes (B1), runs through the city center connecting a main road on one side of town with the corresponding other side.
» Hosur Road - Tumkur Road (B2) -Electronics City to Peenya 2nd Stage

BigCircle

On the Outer Ring Road, BigCircle buses ply in overlapping routes.

Big Circle routes

BigCircle routes. Click to enlarge.

Big Circles (C1 to C4) run on the Outer Ring Road of the city, starting from four major terminus points. Each route makes a half-ring from its starting point to the terminus point on the opposite side of the city. Routes are numbered clock-wise, but buses run in both directions.

» Hebbal To Banashankari (C1) via Marathahalli, Silk Board, BTM
» Marathahalli To Kottigepalya (C2) via Silk board, Banashankari, Katriguppe
» Banashankari To Hebbal (C3) via Katriguppe, Kottigepalya
» Kottigepalya To Marathahalli (C4) via Hebbal

Inner Circle

K Routes (K1 to K3) run in an inner circle within 4 to 6 km of the city center, starting from three major terminus points. Each routes make a one third from its starting point and overlaps with its next route. Routes are numbered anti clock-wise, but buses run in both directions.

Inner Circle routes

Inner circle routes. Click to enlarge.

» St. Johns Hospital To Yeshwantapur TTMC (K1) via Koramangala Water Tank, Domlur, Trinity Circle, Indian Express, Mekri Circle, CPRI Gate

» Chikkamarenahalli Bus Stand To Mysore Road MCTC (K2) via Yeshwantapur TTMC, ISKCON, Shankara Mutt, Vijayanagar, Attiguppe

» Vijayanagar To Koramangala TTMC (K3) via MCTC, Uma Talkies (Chamaraja Pet), B'Gudi Police Station, South End Circle, JNR Bus Stand, Carmel Convent, Dairy Circle

Volvo premium buses

For list of Volvo buses, see here. Click here for the BMTC site. For timings of Volvo buses, see here.

Here is a guide to using Volvo buses to travel throughout the city.

BMTC Vajra route map

Vajra maps useful for IT professionals. Click to enlarge. Courtesy: Praja.in

Airport Service

Vayu Vajra buses operate from various points in the city to the airport. Click here for the list of routes.

Commuters can use the service for city travel up to Hebbala on the BIAS specials with a Vajra Monthly pass or tickets.

If you in the city centre and need to get to the periphery like Hebbal, Marathahalli, Vijaynagar, RajaRajeshwai nagar, etc.: Use the Big10 Services starting from MG Road or nearby roads. You can also go to Shivaji Nagar, Shanti nagar or Majestic bus terminus for more options.

If you are in the city centre and need to go somewhere else in city centre: The Kendriya Sarige, introduced in early 2009, as the city centre loop system have been withdrawn. So the regular routes are the only option.

If you are in periphery and want to go somewhere else in the periphery, but far away (Hebbal to Silkboard): Use the Big Circle buses on the Ring roads. The regular route 500 series also ply on the Outer Ring Road.

If you are in the periphery but want to go nearby: For Whitefield, the Whitefield Sarige is the local loop servicing the area. More loops are likely to be introduced in the near future.

There are also specific connecting buses like 340Q and 341H (Marathahalli to Electronic City).

How much should I pay for tickets?

The fare basis depends on the class of bus: Regular, Pushpak, Suvarna and Vajra (Volvo A/C buses)

The fare range is Rs 3-11 for regular services, Rs 4-15 for Swarna buses, and Rs 10-25 for Vajra. The fares for night services is Rs 5-15.

Ticket price depends on the number of stages to the destination. On an average, ticket price increases at each stage, which is about every 2 kms.

How and where can I get bus passes?

Day passes that gives starting from Rs 32 can be bought in all buses with the conductors. This allows the pass holder to travel on any number of routes throughout a day.

Monthly passes start from Rs 450. To get a monthly pass, you have to get a Buss Pass ID card. The forms are available at Majestic, K.R.Market, Shivajinagar, Shanthi Nagar, Mysore Road MCTC Bus stop, Jayanagar 4th Block transit centres and terminus. Fill and submit the form with one stamp size photo and Rs 100 at the same counter. IDs can be obtained at the above mentioned centres between 1st and 5th of every month. It is available anytime only in Shivajinagar and Majestic.

Monthly passes are available in BMTC bus depots, Bangalore One counters and select travel agents.

Special discounts and incentives for pass holders. There are special schemes for the physically challenged and senior citizens.  Those with BMTC monthly passes can park their vehicle for "Park and Ride" services, at discounted rates at Majestic, Shanthi Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Vijayanagar bus stand parking stands.

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