Wednesday, May 05, 2010

'Bus Day? What is that?' ask some new corporators

'Bus Day? What is that?' ask some new corporators

Shwetha S and Suraksha P. Bangalore

Transport minister R Ashoka had exhorted the newly elected corporators to travel by bus on Bus Day on Tuesday, little realising that many corporators were not even aware of the concept. Some were hesitant to travel by bus.
Bus Day is a concept promoted by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation to popularise public transport among city residents. It is observed on the fourth of every month; it is now a four-month-old practice in the city.
Hebbal corporator Jayappa Reddy and his Kormangala counterpart Kokila flatly refused to use public transport. Kokila did not even know what Bus Day was. Dasarahalli corporator Puttamma Tammanna had to be informed that the transport minister had, in fact, requested all corporators to use bus on Bus Day. "We don't use public transport often. We use our own vehicles," Tammanna said.
However, it was just another day for some other corporators: "Today, I travelled by bus as on any other day," Kempegowda corporator Y Ashwath said. "I have been travelling by bus for years. I used public transport before coming to power, and I continue to use it even after coming to power."
Mayor SK Natraj did not use public transport on Bus Day. He used the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) vehicle. "The mayor had plans to travel by bus," said a senior BBMP official. "But since he had many engagements, he had to use the corporation's vehicle."
In contrast to the general attitude of the corporators to public transport, a large number of employees from IT companies willingly embraced the concept of Bus Day.
"Compared to the previous Bus Days, there was an increase in the number of commuters using bus services on Tuesday," Vishwanath Sitaram, general secretary of the Outer Ring Road Companies Association (ORCCA) said.
"There were more buses on all the five corridors in the city,"a senior BMTC official said. "Transport minister R Ashoka took a bus from his Jayanagar residence to Vidhana Soudha," the official said.

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