Buses in Bangalore are cheap and frequent, but travelling on them can be very difficult if you don’t know the system well. Routes can be vague and change often (with changing one-way road directions), bus stops are sometimes unmarked and large crowds may be likely during peak hours.

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has recently overhauled the system for the better. Regular buses now are blue and white in colour and the Pushpaks (service with better seating) are light brown. Pushpaks are faster buses with limited stops, a higher fare and more luxurious seating. BMTC has also introduced two more bus services: Air Conditioned ‘Vajra’ Volvo buses and another Volvo bus service named ‘Vayu Vajra’ from important areas in Bangalore to the Bangalore International Airport in Devanahalli. The Vajras have illuminated LED display boards on the front and sides which displays the destination and route information in English as well as Kannada.

You can get an idea of the bus routes, timings and stops at the official BMTC site: http://www.bmtcinfo.com/site/index.jsp. Small guidebooks are widely available at newstands for about Rs 20 – 40 and have a rough map with the bus routes. The Bangalore Transport Information System is also a great resource for figuring out routes: http://www.btis.in/.

Buses cannot be waved down and it is not possible to transfer from bus to bus using the same ticket, unless you are using the newly introduced Hop-On Hop-off (Ho-Ho) bus service available only in Bangalore’s central business district. Tickets for the bus have to be bought from the conductor who rides in the bus, he will also tender you exact change. Fares range, depending on the distance of trip and quality of bus, from Rs 4 – 60.