Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Smooth ride for carpoolers

Smooth ride for carpoolers
Incentives May Be Announced
A T Subrahmanya | TNN

Bangalore: Carpooling is often mooted as one way to beat traffic congestion and reduce environmental pollution. But there aren’t many takers. Now, if the Bangalore Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) has its way, incentives like tax benefits, free parking in designated areas and discounts for servicing cars might popularize it.
BMLTA is currently working on guidelines for organized carpooling schemes available to everyone and operating via the internet by people, private firms or the government, BMLTA director Mohammed Mohsin told TOI.
Mohsin said carpooling helps reduce travel costs for each person and due to fewer cars on the road, there could be fewer traffic jams and less hassle in for motorists to find parking space. Informal arrangements between family and friends can also be part of this scheme.
Mohsin said the BMLTA wants people to write to them with suggestions or ideas on the guidelines. There are several ideas like users creating a website and database which allows commuters to find carpoolers with similar work schedules and travel patterns. He says the commuters’ issues can be discussed by those who register for this scheme.
Issues like maximum waiting time or smoking policy, or parking and riding policy in case there are women commuters in the group can be discussed before initiating the scheme. There are several other ideas too to promote carpooling like a special permit for high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes during designated time periods, special carpool pick-up points which can be considered.
“We’re having talks over restricting individual car users in the Central Business District during peak hours. For example, single-occupant car users can be made to pay congestion tax like in Delhi or imposing high parking fees. But we’re yet arrive at a consensus,’’ he said.
Send your suggestions to: dultbangalore@gmail.com or to The Director, Directorate of Urban land Transport, 5th floor, M S Buildings, Dr Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore-560 001


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