Friday, February 05, 2010

Bangaloreans say they are ready to use the Metro

Bangaloreans say they are ready to use the Metro

Staff Reporter
Accessibility key factor in public transport, finds students’ survey
PHOTO: K. BHAGYA PRAKASH

Enterprising: The Mount Carmel College students who conducted the survey. —
BANGALORE: When eight young women come together, they can either party, or do a serious city survey.

Which is what Riddhi Banerjee, Disha Shah, Monica Paul, Neerja Pai, Sanjana Harlalka, Sowmya Murthy, Xie Si and Soumya Sriram, — all third year BSc. students of Mount Carmel College — did.

As part of their academic project, these undergraduates picked for study the Namma Metro, the first phase of which is scheduled to be commissioned end of this year. Their conclusion is that the city’s as-yet-biggest infrastructure project is expected to attract not only commuters who now rely on public transport such as buses and autorickshaws, but also those who own private transport such as cars and two-wheelers.

According to the survey, covering 276 Bangaloreans, 105 out of 147 commuters who own private transport, said they would switch to the Metro as their mode of transportation, while the remaining 42 said they would prefer to stick to their own vehicles to commute.

Similarly, 93 out of 129 commuters using public transport such as buses, autorickshaws and taxis said they would shift to the Metro.

Women’s take
The survey also revealed that women expressed a certain degree of insecurity with the Metro, particularly using the service during late evening hours. “It is interesting to note that women in the upper age bands were more concerned about using the Metro at night-time than those in the younger age groups,” said the synopsis of the study, which also covered the status of the current public transportation system in the city.

Most of the respondents were particularly satisfied with the eco-friendliness and connectivity of the city’s bus service. “But, they were highly dissatisfied with the frequency,” said Ms. Banerjee. Interestingly, the cost effectiveness of the bus service compared to other transport systems did not turn out to be a major source of satisfaction for users of public transport, she added.

With regard to autorickshaws, the major source of satisfaction was their easy accessibility, although those surveyed were largely unhappy with the cost and safety factors, said Ms. Sriram.

Other concerns
“Our primary objective was to record the reactions of people to the Metro, that is being introduced in Bangalore, and secondly to record the satisfaction level with regard to the current public transport system on the basis of frequency, convenience, cost effectiveness, eco-friendliness and safety,” Ms. Sriram added.

As part of their survey, the students collected the opinions of experts, including senior officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and Bangalore University, who felt that the Metro’s starting points should be in the suburbs with easy access to major roads, along with an extensive parking area for people who can leave their vehicles behind.

For people to shift from their current mode of transport to the Metro, the ticket rates must be an incentive. Also, they were of the view that there must a single transport authority governing and ensuring proper coordination of both bus and Metro rail networks.

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