Wednesday, August 04, 2010

More of the same, and better, with each passing Bus Day

More of the same, and better, with each passing Bus Day

Another Bus Day is upon the city. What can commuters look forward to? Two Aruns were in conversation — Arun Chakravarthy J, director, security, vigilance, environment of the BMTC, and DNA's Arun Dev.

The fourth of every month has been observed as Bus Day in the city. What programmes have been planned for Wednesday?
As usual, there will be some corridors in the city — Old Madras Road, Old Airport Road, Sarjapura Road, Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Tumkur Road, Mysore Road—where special emphasis will be laid on riding the bus rather than using private transport. We are providing special Volvo buses to commuters in these stretches, so that they can ride comfortably to work. We have also sent around 1 lakh SMS messages to commuters about Bus Day. Transport minister R Ashoka will take a bus with physically handicapped children from JP Nagar to Bannergatta National Park.

Can you tell us a little more about what uses you put SMS to?
For a long time, we have been promoting the use of buses. Earlier, we used to spread awareness by forwarding emails, or writing to companies to urge employees to use public transport. Part of our publicity campaign was conducted right on top of the BMTC buses.
The SMS service is actually an expansion of this program. This Bus Day, we have sent over 1 lakh messages to commuters across the city. Our target group this time is people who use two-wheelers regularly. These SMSes contain both promotional information as well as details about Bus Day.

Will the SMS services also inform people about routes and timings of buses?
We already have a system in place which offers information on bus routes and other details. We are in the process of developing a system that can provide details on bus routes via SMS, on request. However, it would be premature to discuss this right now. But commuters can look forward to getting updates on SMS about bus routes and timings once they register with the BMTC.

How would you rate the success of Bus Day?
We are the first state in the country to take up such a campaign. The Centre too has noted our efforts, and is promoting the concept in other states. On Bus Day and in days afterwards, we have noted that there are actually more people riding buses in the city. This is good, the revenue earned by the BMTC has gone up. People have responded positively to this initiative.

What plans for Bus Day next month?
More of the same, we plan to expand the scope of Bus Day gradually, with each month.

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