Saturday, December 25, 2004

BMTC buses to ferry students

BMTC buses to ferry students
Starting Jan., Baldwin Girls Will Switch To New System
The Times of India

Bangalore: Big and burly, the school bus will be back in vogue if the traffic police, BATF and school authorities have their way.

The aim: Decongest Bangalore.
The plan: Start with the central business district, home to a number of schools. Provide the bus as substitute to private cars and twowheelers which ferry wards.
Pilot project: Baldwin Girls’ High School, where a survey revealed that over 700 four-wheelers and 300 twowheelers crowd Richmond Road twice a day, and choke up traffic.

The city police, BMTC, BATF, Baldwin Girls’ School and parents have agreed in principle to get every student to use BMTC buses, starting January. The routes have also been worked out. The brain behind it is the BATF, which collected data on 3,500 schools. Said BATF member Kalpana Kar: “In the central business district, we have asked for around 10-12 schools to start with this proposal over a three-month period. In the next few months, Bishop Cotton, Kendriya Vidyalaya, Sophia’s and many more may implement this.’’

This is the practice followed the world over, and police chief Mariswamy is pushing for it. Besides streamlining traffic, the system cuts down on parking woes and pollution. Above all, children are safer. DCP Traffic (East) M.A. Saleem said: “We have had two meetings with the school authorities and parents, and 95 per cent of parents support this. As a first step, we will have over 35 BMTC buses to replace the 1,000 cars and two-wheelers on ferry duty. The nitty-gritty has been worked out. We hope to launch this service from January when the school reopens after Christmas vacation, or in about a week’s time after that.’’

To this, a Baldwin school official said, “The school fully supports the move. However, there could be some resistance from parents who do not, as it is, send students in the seven school buses. They might not feel comfortable sending them in BMTC buses because children have to walk home from the bus stop. Parents prefer pick up and drop at their doorstep.’’

The benefits are many

Roads free of traffic; no parking pains
Parents save fuel and time
Children safer in a bus: statistics show that 74% accidents involve this kind of transport, which are in a hurry to beat the school gong
Psychologically, bus travel breaks down status barriers, builds camaraderie


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