Friday, February 05, 2010

Commuters give thumbs up to ‘Bus Day’

Commuters give thumbs up to ‘Bus Day’
Bangalore, Feb 4, DHNS:

To encourage citizens to use public transport more and reduce traffic on the City roads, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) observed the 'Bus Day' on Thursday.

As part of the initiative, as many as 150 BMTC additional buses and about 1,500 trips across the Electronics City and ITPL corridors were operated.

To flag off the event, R Ashok, Transport Minister walked from his residence in Jayanagar to the nearest bus stop to catch a BMTC bus to reach Vidhana Soudha.

Media persons, who were waiting for him outside his house, followed him into the bus. But the place he chose to sit, reportedly on the request of some media persons, triggered a controversy. It was a ladies seat!

Speaking to media persons, Ashok said, "We know people who travel on bikes and auto rickshaws are actually people who were travelling in buses earlier. Due to less frequency, these people have opted for other modes of transport. We want to encourage them to use BMTC buses," he said.

The BMTC buses were deployed in the two corridors mainly targeting the IT professionals and BPO employees to use public transport. Ashok explained these areas were chosen due to the heavy traffic in these IT hubs.

Gomathi, an employee of Oracle at ITPL said "Normally it took more than an hour for me to reach the office from Ulsoor to ITPL, but today I reached in 35 minutes". More than 10,000 employees, including top officers of Wipro, also observed the 'Bus Day' by using public transport.

The BMTC had sent in a circular to all the companies in ITPL about the Bus Day facilities. Neha, another IT professional, said that if such facilities are provided every day, many of them would prefer to commute by bus.

A violation by Minister?

R Ashok, travelling in a BMTC bus as part of the "Bus Day" initiative" sat in one of the ladies seats. While this was highlighted in the electronic media, it was later learnt that some media persons themselves had asked him to sit there so that it would be easier for him to address them. The Minister even advised men not to sit on ladies seats inconveniencing the womenfolk.

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