Friday, November 13, 2009

The IT crowd rides Buses

The IT crowd rides Buses
By: Chetan R Date: 2009-11-12 Place: Banglore

From today, the Outer Ring Road techies are showing the city how to decongest its IT corridors with a simple lifestyle change abandoning private vehicles in favour of mass public transport systems such as the city bus service for their daily commute.

Called Safe Wheels, the initiative has been introduced by the Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORRCA), which has over 20 firms as its members.

Coming together
Started a year ago as a voluntary organisation to address traffic and transport issues, ORRCA is now urging employees to take the bus to work.

"Safe Wheels will start off on Thursday as ORRCA completes its first year," said S Vishwanath, manager, AOL, and general secretary of ORRCA, yesterday. "The initiative primarily aims at decongesting roads we use, and Sarjapur ORR will be the first."

Employees of ORRCA member companies number about 50,000 in the Sarjapur corridor, and as a starting point they plan to leave their two-wheelers or cars at home and use Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses.

Road ahead
Next, they plan to conduct yearlong awareness programmes that shall include installation of BMTC stalls in other IT companies to educate techies on services offered by the BMTC.

They also propose to organise roadshows that discourage the use of private vehicles.

ORRCA, which has companies such as Aditya Birla Minacs, Cisco, AOL, Honeywell, Intel, HP, Accenture and Northern Trust as members, has in the past addressed traffic issues using the public-private partnership route.

It has taken up initiatives aimed at creating awareness, like educating techies and commuters on traffic rules in association with the traffic police.

Now the effort has spread to include the BMTC.

"After educating people on road safety aspects and working with the traffic police to manage traffic over the pas year, we have planned the Safe Wheels initiative now," said Vishwanath. "This is another step forward in the effort to reduce traffic in the IT corridors."

Setting targets
Today, about 30 per cent of techies use private vehicles in the Sarjapur corridor. ORRCA wants to reduce this to 10 per cent by the end of this year.

The initiative will also be introduced in other IT corridors, including the Hosur, the ITPL and the Bannerghatta corridors, in stages.

"BMTC stalls in IT companies will call techies to use BMTC services instead of cabs or autos," said Vishwanath. "Initially, we are concentrating on the Sarjapur ORR corridor. Similar exercises will be carried out in other IT corridors."


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