Friday, March 05, 2010

Bus Day evokes mixed response

Bus Day evokes mixed response
Bangalore:Mar 4, DHNS:

Unlike its first edition, the Transport Department’s second Bus Day evoked a mixed response from Bangaloreans on Thursday.

Lack of awareness led to low turnout at some places. However, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) declared the Bus Day a success on five arterial roads where extra buses were run.

For regular commuters, the Bus Day did not make much of a difference.
“I carry a bus pass and it helps me save a lot of money. But for many, it is a question of status and financial well-being that stops them from stepping into the public transport buses,” said R G Gopal, a resident of Hoskerehalli Cross.

A senior citizen, Gopal was of the opinion that the BMTC has provided a service that has immensely helped the middle class, but is yet to extract a response from the affluent. “BMTC has given the middle class a much needed respite in providing a good transport system. The idea of Bus Day needs to capture the imagination of the affluent class to become a success,” Gopal added.

BMTC claims successful
According to BMTC Managing Director Syed Pasha, the Day was a success.
“In fact, we received better response this time than earlier, when it was organised last month. The report suggested it was smooth and people had responded positively,” he said.

BMTC, he said, had pressed into service 150 additional buses of various types along the five arterial roads of Old Madras Road, Bannerghatta Road, Old Airport Road, Hosur Road and Sarjapur Road.

“We had almost 275 Volvo buses plying on these roads. The final count of ticket sales and response will be arrived at by Friday,” said Pasha.
But IT professionals on Sarjapur Road had a different take. Either due to lack of awareness or poor advertising, some of them were not even aware of the Bus Day this time around. While those who knew about it were sceptical of changing several buses to reach their destination.

Changing buses
Panindra, a resident of Malleswaram said: “I thought the Bus Day was organised last month. Is it being held on Thursday too?” While the 27-year old IT professional was enthusiastic about the Bus Day, he said lack of direct buses to his destination was the dampener. “If I have to reach my office on Sarjapur Road, I need to take a minimum of three buses. It is quite a tiring journey,” he said.
His colleague Madhavi, who lives in Indiranagar echoed the same opinion.
“I have to change two buses to reach office. Instead, sharing an office cab makes more sense,” she said. Madhavi was nonetheless quite enticed by the Bus Day idea. “I do not wish to drive or ride on the City roads. It is better to use the public transport, if found comfortable,” she said.

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