Monday, April 26, 2010

Tech community shifts gear on Hosur Road expressway

Tech community shifts gear on Hosur Road expressway

Traffic dipped after toll was introduced on the autobahn meant for use of Electronic City employees

Shwetha S. Bangalore



It was billed to be a road out of the nightmare that commuting to the city's premier IT enclave in Electronic City had become. But the tech community which sang paeans to the Rs800-crore Hosur Road elevated expressway that was built for its convenience appears to have abandoned the autobahn.
The 2.5-lakh-strong tech community of Electronic City and adjacent IT pockets depends mostly on personal vehicles to commute to the workplace. But this is not reflected in the volume of the expressway traffic.
Bangalore Elevated Tollway Ltd (BETL) authorities are disappointed with the poor response from the commuters, especially from the Electronic City, to the expressway.
The expressway saw initial burst of traffic when it remained toll free for over two months. The scene changed once the toll was introduced earlier this month.
Traffic volume on the expressway plummeted, even as it rose on Hosur Road. Traffic police put the volume shift at almost 40%. The preferences on the expressway too were reflective of a particular trend. Though electronic toll collection was specifically introduced for the tech community, more crowds were seen at the cash counters.
Brigadier (Retd) MR Deshpande, General Manager, BETL, told DNA: "The number of commuters using electronic tolling is very poor, compared to the cash plazas. The electronic tolling includes both smart card plazas and on-board unit plazas and both have no takers."
Surprisingly, the number of commuters turning up at the Bangalore-Hosur plaza is picking up, than the other two plazas which lead to Electronic city. Currently, about 900 commuters are using the expressway leading to Electronic City phase 1 daily, whereas about 2,000 take the expressway leading to Hosur Road section every day.
Electronic City Industries Association (ECIA) president Prakash Rao said: "IT employees using the electronic toll payment are facing problems. There have been instances where the software does not work for smart cards or the on-board units. Some of them find the very act of filling up the form laborious. We had a meeting with the BETL authorities; they requested us to encourage Electronic City employees to go in for electronic toll payment. We will have a meeting with the companies in a few days and will ask their employees to use expressway and electronic toll payment. If required, the employees can post suggestions on any procedural changes they want on the expressway."

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