Railway Station in West Bengal, India
(Redirected from Public transport in Kolkata and Howrah)
Travel topics > Transportation > Public transportation > Public transport in Greater Kolkata

Greater Kolkata has one of the most extensive public transportation networks in India. The diverse modes of public transport in the region ranges from the modern rapid transit system to the old heritage tram system.

Public transport map of Greater Kolkata
Public transport map of Greater Kolkata

BusEdit

 
A private regular bus in Kolkata

The bus network around Greater Kolkata is possibly the most exhaustive in the whole of India and it is the cheapest, though not always the most comfortable means of transport. The routes are written all over the colourful buses in Bengali and also in English. The conductors call out their destinations to everyone they are passing and all you have to do is wave at the bus anywhere and it will stop, at times causing a small queue of other cars behind it. Buses in Kolkata, Howrah and other parts of West Bengal do not have a card system. One has to buy tickets after boarding the bus. The bus tickets are simple paper tickets purchased from the bus conductor.

You can travel 20 km at around ₹10. The exact fare depends on the type of bus. There are both state-run and private buses that ply the city streets.

State-run busesEdit

State-run buses in Greater Kolkata are operated by West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC). These buses are generally painted blue and are identified by the acronym WBTC on the front windscreen and on their body. Non-air-conditioned buses fare start from ₹10 whereas air-conditioned buses fare start from ₹25. WBTC also provides some special transport services on some occasions, like Gangasagar Mela, Durga Puja, Kolkata Book Fair and so on.

West Bengal Tourism operates a pair of double-decker tourist buses from Rabindra Sadan to Jorasanko during festive seasons. These buses are identified with blue and white shades and the roofless (Bengali: হুডখোলা, huḍkhola) upper deck. The ticket costs ₹649 per head for the upper deck and ₹499 per head for the lower deck.

Private busesEdit

Private buses are run by private operators who are affiliated with bus unions. They are of three types:

  • Regular buses: Coloured blue and yellow.
  • Short-distance buses (SD): Coloured blue and white.
  • Minibuses: Coloured red and yellow but contains fewer seats.

TerminiEdit

The bus termini in Greater Kolkata are:

  • 1 Babughat Bus Terminus, ~8 Strand Rd. One of the main bus termini in Kolkata alongside Esplanade. One can find interstate buses going into Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and other cities of West Bengal.
  • 2 Barasat Bus Terminus, Champadali.
  • 3 Howrah Bus Terminus (W of the Howrah Bridge, N of Howrah station). Buses are available from Howrah and different parts of West Bengal.
  • 4 Esplanade Bus Terminus (Dharmatala Bus Stand). It has bus terminals for buses from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sikkim, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and other parts of the country.
  • 5 International Bus Terminus, Karunamoyee, Sector-III, Bidhannagar. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service operates from here.
  • 6 Kolkata Central Bus Terminus (Santragachi Bus Stand) (outside Santragachi station).
  • 7 Nabanna Bus Terminus, Andul Rd.

FerryEdit

 
A ferry operating between Greater Kolkata

The ferry services to cross the Hooghly River from Kolkata to Howrah is very convenient to zip across both cities. The Hooghly River offers a less crowded but slow traffic medium. There are several points (popularly called ghats and jetties) on the bank of the river from where you can board several regular routes of ferry services. Ferries can be fairly large launches to small improvised motorised boats. Even if you don't get any exotic manual boat like you get in Varanasi, the river transport of Greater Kolkata lets you go to several old spots near the bank in a hassle-free manner with an additional dash of the view of decadent riverfront of the cities. Buy the ticket before you board the ferry and retain the ticket till after you have crossed to the other side and have shown it to the ticket checker near the exit gate or else you will be penalised!

Ferry ghat Services Connections Other information
Ahiritola Ghat Bagbazar–Howrah
Sovabazar–Howrah
  Sovabazar Ahiritola
Armenian Ghat Howrah–Armenian Ghat   Burrabazar
  Howrah Bridge
Babughat Babughat–Howrah
Babughat–Ramkrishnapur
  Babughat
  Eden Gardens
Bagbazar Bagbazar–Howrah
Fairlie Place–Bagbazar
Uttarpara–Bagbazar
  Bagbazar
Dakshineswar Belur Math–Dakshineswar   Dakshineswar
 1  Dakshineswar
  Dakshineswar
Fairlie Place Fairlie Place–Bagbazar
Fairlie Place–Chandpal Ghat
Fairlie Place–Kuthi Ghat
Fairlie Place–Metiabruz
Fairlie Place–Uttarpara
  Fairlie Place
  B.B.D. Bag
Howrah Babughat–Howrah
Bagbazar–Howrah
Howrah–Armenian Ghat
Howrah–Uttarpara
Sovabazar–Howrah
  Howrah
  Howrah Junction
Kuthi Ghat Fairlie–Kuthi Ghat
Kuthi Ghat–Belur
Outram Ghat   Babughat
  Eden Gardens
Prinsep Ghat   Prinsep Ghat
  Prinsep Ghat
Sovabazar Bagbazar–Howrah
Sovabazar–Howrah
  Sovabazar Ahiritola

MetroEdit

 
The Kolkata Metro is the oldest metro system in India
 
Map of the Kolkata Metro, the first two lines are operational

The oldest rail rapid transit system in India, the Kolkata Metro is the fastest, cleanest, most reliable and most efficient of all the transportation Kolkata has to offer. Trains run every 5 minutes (rush hours) to 15 minutes (non-rush hours) from 6:55AM-10:30PM from Monday to Saturday and 9:50AM-10:00PM on Sunday. Fares range from ₹5-30.

The four-seat sections at each end of a coach are reserved for senior citizens and the physically challenged. The two middle seat sections, between the general seat sections on each side, are reserved for women. Smoking is also strictly prohibited on the metro premises. Violating any of these incurs a penalty.

Be aware that if you wish to exit at a station during rush hours, you will have to tackle your way through in order to get out before the opposite flow of passengers pushes you back inside. Don't be afraid of using your strength to push yourself out.

LinesEdit

Name Status Termini Other information
North–South Line or
Blue Line  1 
Operational Dakshineswar Kavi Subhash The oldest metro line in Kolkata.
East–West Line or
Green Line  2 
Partly operational Sealdah IT Centre Expected to be fully operational from Howrah Maidan to Teghoria. It would also be the first underwater metro service in India. The expansion progress is tardy due to several incidents of building cracking at Bowbazar.
Purple Line  3  Partly operational Taratala Joka Expected to be fully operational from Esplanade to Diamond Park.
Yellow Line  4  Under construction
Pink Line  5  Proposed
Orange Line  6  Under construction Expected to be partly operational in 2023, from Ruby Hospital (Hemanta Mukherjee) to New Garia (Kavi Subhash).

StationsEdit

Name Location Lines Connections Other information
Baranagar Far North Kolkata  1    Dunlop
  Baranagar Road
Behala Bazar South Kolkata  3    Behala Bazar
Behala Chowrasta South Kolkata  3    Behala Chowrasta
Belgachia Far North Kolkata  1    Belgachia
  Belgachia Metro
  Belgachia More
Bengal Chemical East Kolkata  2    Bengal Chemical
  Mani Square
Central Central Kolkata  1    Central Avenue
  Central Metro Station
  Medical College
  School of Tropical Medicine
Central Park East Kolkata  2    Bikash Bhawan
  Sech Bhawan
Chandni Chowk Central Kolkata  1    Chandni Chowk
  Victoria House
City Center East Kolkata  2    City Center
Dakshineswar Far North Kolkata  1    Alambazar More
  Dakshineswar
  Dakshineswar
  Dakshineswar
Dum Dum Far North Kolkata  1    Dum Dum Station
  Dum Dum Junction
Esplanade Central Kolkata  1    Esplanade
  Esplanade
Girish Park North Kolkata  1    Girish Park
Gitanjali
(Naktala)
South Kolkata  1    Bunty Cinema
  Rathtala
  Naktala (minibus)
Jatin Das Park
(Hazra)
South Kolkata  1    Hazra
  Jatin Das Park
  Sujata Sadan
Joka South Kolkata  3    Diamond Park
  Joka
Kalighat
(Rashbehari)
South Kolkata  1    Rashbehari Crossing
  Rashbehari Gurudwara
  Rashbehari Crossing
Karunamoyee East Kolkata  2    Karunamoyee
Kavi Nazrul
(Garia Bazar)
South Kolkata  1    Garia Bazar
  Garia No. 5
  Garia No. 6
  Garia Metro
  Garia More
Kavi Subhash
(New Garia)
South Kolkata  1    New Garia
  New Garia
Mahanayak Uttam Kumar
(Tollygunge)
South Kolkata  1    Tollygunge
  Tollygunge Tram Depot
  Tollygunge
Mahatma Gandhi Road North Kolkata  1    Mahajati Sadan
  Muhammad Ali Park
  Ram Mandir
Maidan Central Kolkata  1    Maidan
Masterda Surya Sen
(Bansdroni)
South Kolkata  1    Bansdroni
Netaji
(Kudghat)
South Kolkata  1    Kudghat
Netaji Bhavan
(Bhowanipore)
South Kolkata  1    Netaji Bhawan
  Jadu Babur Bazar
Noapara Far North Kolkata  1    34C
  Gharui Paschimpara
  Health More
Park Street Central Kolkata  1    Park Street
Phoolbagan East Kolkata  2    Phoolbagan
  Phoolbagan (minibus)
Rabindra Sadan
(Exide)
South Kolkata  1    Chowringhee Road-Calcutta Club
  Exide More
  Rabindra Sadan
Rabindra Sarobar
(Charu Market)
South Kolkata  1    Bhabani Cinema
  Rabindra Sarobar
  Charu Market
  Tollygunge
Sakherbazar South Kolkata  3    Kadamtala
  Behala Sakherbazar (minibus)
  Silpara
  Thakurpukur
IT Centre
(Salt Lake Sector V)
East Kolkata  2    Salt Lake
  Wipro
Salt Lake Stadium East Kolkata  2    Apollo Hospital
  Kadapara
  Swabhumi
Sealdah North Kolkata  2    Sealdah
  NRS
  Sealdah
Shahid Khudiram
(Dhalai Bridge)
South Kolkata  1    Dhalai Bridge
  Khudiram Metro
Shobhabazar Sutanuti North Kolkata  1    Shobhabazar Metro
  Jaipuria College
Shyambazar North Kolkata  1    Shyambazar
  Shyambazar 5 Point
  Shyambazar Metro
  Shyambazar
Taratala South Kolkata  3    Ajanta Cinema
  Taratala
Thakurpukur South Kolkata  3    Thakurpukur Bazar
  Thakurpukur Police Station

TrainEdit

See also: Rail travel in India
 
A local train at Hridaypur station in Barasat

Greater Kolkata is part of both the Eastern Railway (ER) and the South Eastern Railway (SER) zone. The region is served by both passenger and suburban railway services. The Kolkata Suburban Railway, commonly referred to as "local trains", has the largest suburban railway network in India. Depending on the route, local trains can be extremely crowded. It is less expensive to travel around by train as compared to private taxis.

There are five lines under the suburban railway network, including the Chord Link Line, Circular Railway, Eastern Line, Sealdah South and the South Eastern Line.

Kolkata Circular RailwayEdit

The Kolkata Circular Railway  Circular  is a railway loop line around Kolkata, which begins and terminates at Dum Dum Junction railway station. The line mostly runs along the Hooghly River and through the city centre. The Circular Railway offers direct interchange points with the North–South Metro at Dum Dum and Tollygunge railway stations, while connecting multiple tourist places and ghats, for example Prinsep Ghat and the Eden Gardens. It provides a scenic view for daily commuters and visitors.

From Dum Dum Junction to Tala, the line is double-tracked, while from Tala to Majerhat, the line is single-tracked. Running by the side of the Hooghly River from Tala to Majerhat, it joins and runs parallel to the Sealdah South tracks after Majerhat and elevates at Park Circus in order to bypass Sealdah (which is a terminal station). After bypassing Sealdah, it rejoins the mainline at Bidhannagar Road and again terminating at Dum Dum Junction.

Station name Station code Location Connections Other information
Ballygunge BLN South Kolkata   Ballygunge Station
  Ballygunge Station
B.B.D Bag BBDB Central Kolkata   Fairlie Place
  Fairlie Place Ghat
Dum Dum Junction DDJ Far North Kolkata   Dum Dum Station
 1  Dum Dum
Eden Gardens EDG Maidan   Babughat
  Babughat
  Outram Ghat
Kolkata KOAA Far North Kolkata   Kolkata Station
Majerhat MJT Southwest Kolkata
Prinsep Ghat PPGT Maidan   Prinsep Ghat
  Prinsep Ghat
Tala TALA Far North Kolkata
Tollygunge TLG South Kolkata   Bhabani Cinema
  Rabindra Sarobar
  Charu Market
 1  Rabindra Sarobar

TramEdit

 
A blue tram in Kolkata in 2009

Kolkata has the only tram service in all of India and the oldest surviving electric tram network in Asia. Though decommissioned in some parts of the city, electric trams are still one of the means of travelling between a few places within the city. They move slowly on the laid tracks in traffic-jammed streets, but they are environment-friendly (no emissions on the street, only at the source of energy generation). The trams were operated by Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) until 2016 when the company merged into West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC).

The tram network had up to 37 routes in the 1960s, but it has gradually reduced to only two routes operating as of 2022:

  • 24/29: Ballygunge Station–Tollygunge
  • 25: Esplanade–Gariahat

The reasons cited include financial struggles, poor maintenance, low ridership, the addition of road flyovers, expansion of metro, slow tram speed and perceptions that the trams are outdated and occupy too much road space. There have been discussions on either shutting down the network permanently or lowering the operations of the system.

Stay safeEdit

Water-logging, caused by heavy rains during the summer monsoon, sometimes interrupt transport networks. Keep yourself updated with the latest weather news before venturing out to use public transport.

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