Monday, March 31, 2008

Police will push car-pools to

Police will push car-pools to
fight traffic jams
R Krishnakumar | TNN

Bangalore: Your car-pooled drive could now come with the official stamp of acceptance. The Bangalore Traffic Police is working with an online community on a roadmap to take the idea of car-pooling to the next level. The police, in association with, are in the process of identifying groups and areas from which the pools could commence.
“This is a good step towards easing the traffic bottlenecks and we want to popularize it. With the police formally backing car-pooling initiatives, we expect good public acceptance,’’ Seemanth Kumar Singh, DCP - Traffic (East), said. The initial phase of the project is expected to feature car-pooling weeks and billboards that promote the concept.
Singh plans to involve more carpooling communities at the next level. For now, sessions are on to muster support for the idea among IT employees - the sessions have covered clusters like the Manyata Tech Park - and the formalities of the agreement are being finalized. “The primary target group is the IT sector employees. There’s a lot of interaction happening with them. The pilot project will be ready by April,’’ Singh said.
Though the potential of car-pooling has been tapped by various groups and communities to combat the city’s traffic snarls, this will be the first concerted effort to popularize car-pooling with the police as partners. The traffic police, while endorsing the idea in principle, have maintained that the initiative has to come from the people. “With around 4,000 users on our website, we thought it was time to take the concept to a larger level. That’s when the partnership with the police came through,’’ Vipul Kasera, who founded, said.
Kasera said the tie-up could also cover aspects like identity verification of car-poolers. Hoardings at permanent locations, partnership with Residents’ Welfare Associations, a call centre to address car-poolers’ issues and dedicated pooled drives to shopping malls are also on the cards.
Users of the not-for-profit website are bound by the etiquette terms that cover aspects like punctuality and social habits. Once registered, the user can search for car-poolers who share his or her route and contact them to get started. “If there are 50 people who travel between, say, Vijayanagar and Airport Road, they’ll all be part of a pool. If one person is taking the route at any time of the day and wants to offer a drive to others, he can send an SMS that will reach all the pool members,’’ Kasera said.
The website offers three types of pooling: one member using his own car for all the trips, members using cars on a rotational basis and members using cars owned by a rental agency (with or without the driver). The costs of fuel, maintenance and parking are shared among the users.
l Pilot project to start in April
l Programme to feature awareness sessions, billboard promotion
l RWA partnership, identity verification proposed
l IT sector employees to be primary target group


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