Transport experts feel that with at least 50% of country’s population expected to reside in urban areas by 2030, the added pressure on transport, with rise in use of private vehicles, will be tremendous.
They suggest that the need of the hour is to increase and improve public transport, as trends in the country indicate that there is a decline in the use of public and non-motorised transport and an increase in the use of private vehicles.
The speakers at a seminar on doubling public transport share by 2025, organised by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) pointed out that public transport will decrease the consumption of energy and fatalities from accidents by at least 15%. However, in order to achieve this, there has to be drastic changes in the way public transport operates in the country.
Regarding the city’s bus services, Ashwin Mahesh, advisor to BMTC and member ABIDe said both Big 10 services (direction oriented services) and proper branding of buses were the initiatives that helped citizens understand the bus services in the city.
However, to make it more efficient, steps need to be taken with regard to cutting down on overlap, he added.
“BMTC needs to move towards providing trunk and feeder routes for its services. For instance, there is no need for all the buses to operate from KR Market or Majestic to distant stops outside Hosur Road, considering that almost all these buses overlap along the trunk routes,” he said.
It is also important to set metrics to guide evaluation of services, such as minimum distance a bus will travel in a city, the minimum waiting time and so on. For this to happen, there has to be comprehensive mobility planning with continuous data collection, he added.
BMRCL managing director N Sivasailam said that once the common mobility cards and the system for integrated transport are in place for Namma Metro and BMTC, “It could change the face of travel in the city.” Along with CMCs, inter-modal transport hubs are important and is being planned at Baiyappanahalli, Yehswanthpur, Banashankari and Vijayanagar, he added.
Availability and regulation of parking in the city can also go a long way in discouraging the use of private vehicles and increasing the use of public transport, said V Manjula, Commissioner, Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT).
“In India, parking is generally considered a social good, with insufficient facilities for public parking and inadequate research either,” she said, even though nearly 9,500 sq metres of land is required to park 800 vehicles that get registered every day.
She added the current parking policy, approved for Bangalore, is a first step in this direction, even though a number of points that the DULT had approved were diluted.
Intelligent transport system
Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) will kickstart Intelligent Transport System (ITS) based services in Mysore by next month according to its managing director N Manjunatha Prasad.
Participating in the seminar, he said the KSRTC has already installed GPS in 500 buses in Mysore, which will provide real time information of the routes and schedules operated by KSRTC buses.
By extending services such as real time information to passengers, regular monitoring and updation of services and so on, KSRTC hopes to increase passenger comfort and reliability of its services, he added.