Friday, February 05, 2010

BUS. No more wheel worries

BUS. No more wheel worries
The First Bus Day Raised Awareness About Advantages Of Mass Transport And Saving The Environment
A T Subrahmanya | TNN

Bangalore: For Sandhya Hegde, an employee of a private IT company, taking a bus to office is actually more comfortable than driving her car. And, on Bus Day, she took a Vajra to Electronic City: “I’ve been travelling by bus for over a month. Going by car in this maddening traffic can be very stressful and car pooling doesn’t work if people have different timings.”
She added: “Bus Day is a good initiative. It’ll definitely help traffic flow as well as the environment.”
BMTC and other organizations observed Bus Day on Thursday with the message ‘Leave behind your vehicle, driving stress and traffic mess, at least for a day, and show that you care for Bengaluru’. The campaign encouraged commuters to use company buses as well. It kicked off in two corridors — ITPB and Electronic City.
BMTC officials said the city has nearly 35 lakh vehicles, of which 50% are two-wheelers and nearly 20% are four-wheelers, with about 6,000 buses for public transport and about 3,000 private buses. The idea is to encourage use of mass transport to reduce congestion and be environment-friendly, at least for a day.
The scene on Thursday morning at the bus stations in Majestic, Shanthinagar and other bus stops was a little different than any other day. Apart from the usual passengers, there were people in formal shirts and ties, T-shirts and denims, wired to music players.
Along the Electronic City route, several commuters left their four-wheelers and two-wheelers at home. A regular bus commuter, Sneha T S, said: “I take the bus regularly to office in Electronic City and the traffic density is always high on Hosur Road. It takes hours to reach office. It will definitely help if everyone takes the bus instead of their vehicles.”
Several people took the trouble of taking two buses to reach office. Richa Mehra and Sunil Vallan, both employees of an IT giant, were very enthusiastic about Bus Day. They normally commute by car. Richa said: “I’ve always been eco-conscious and done car-pooling too. Travelling by bus helps save the environment.”
Some constraints were schedules and the reach. Richa says: “The problem is the timings. If I finish my work at 10 pm, I definitely can’t take a bus as I have to walk a bit to reach my house in Koramangala. So, I end up taking a cab.”
Krishna, an employee of a private company who sometimes take a bus, said better public transport would help clear the traffic mess. There are other benefits too, says Vipin Kumar, an employee of an IT giant: “We pay Rs 1,200 for our company bus passes. But if we pay the same amount for Vajra passes, we can go around the city on weekends too. With public transport, we don’t have to rush to catch a bus; we can always take the next one.”
Several senior IT executives, including vice-presidents and senior managers, took a bus to office. A senior Wipro executive who went from HSR Layout to Electronic City said the initiative is a right step to reduce pollution and traffic woes. Wipro chief information officer Lakshman K Badiga also joined the brigade.
248 buses (140 normal and 108 Vajra) make 1,802 trips
Electronic City
412 buses (269 normal and 143 Vajra) make 3,302 trips
On Thursday
150 more buses on both routes made 1,500 more trips
The response has been excellent. The feedback from the public, companies and traffic police have been really good. The Wipro campus parking space for 1,500 cars and 1,750 twowheelers had only 900 cars and 1,300 two-wheelers. The Infosys campus parking space of 1,500 cars and 1,800 two-wheelers had only 1,250 cars and 1,500 twowheelers. —Syed Zameer Pasha | MD, BMTC


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