Today I rode the Bangalore metro for the first time, and I must say, it was an absolute treat! Although India has its fair share of problems, including the fact that the income gap between the richest and poorest is only seemingly widening, it’s heartening to see that there are real efforts being made to update basic infrastructure to support the ambitions of a burgeoning economy.
The metro is clean, easy to navigate, and not overcrowded (although my data point might be biased since I rode it during the middle of a working day). Despite mounting political scandals, it’s great to see that along the way, significant improvements have been made to public services. For India to support its future ambitions as a “superpower”, it is of paramount importance that basic infrastructure (e.g., roads, public transport, power grids etc.) is updated.
As one last note, it is somewhat comical to me to see how many people are employed to keep the metro running. I’d say that roughly every 50 metres there is someone positioned at a metro station to guide you on your way. Although this generates jobs, very clearly only a small fraction of those employed are generating real added value. Policing within the metro stations is also pretty well organized, to the extent that you’d imagine that without them, you’re running the risk of being caught in the middle of a riot or stampede. Whether such an impending disaster is on the horizon or not, it at least shows that the authorities are prepared to handle most situations.
My conclusion: I would very happily travel by metro in Bangalore everyday, especially since you can do so at a relatively modest price! Hopefully, we will see many more infrastructure projects materialize into meaningful public services in Bangalore in the coming years!