Pune: The city residents feel that the travel time in a public bus has increased in the last decade. Commuters who travel frequently complain that the average time taken in a public bus has increased from 15 minutes to 30 minutes for an average distance of 10 kilometres.
Reason? As per the traffic analysts, increase in population, growth in the number of private vehicles on road and a reduction in the speed limit of the public buses have been the primary factors for a rise in the average time taken to travel a distance of 10 kilometres.
As per the Pune District Census Report, the population of the Pune city has gone up from 72, 32,555 in 2001 to 94, 29,408 in 2011. On the other hand, a data obtained by the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO) reveals that private vehicles on the Pune roads have increased by more than double in a decade.
In the year 2004, there were 11,49,469 vehicles on the city’s roads, which went up to 26,66,488 by March 2014.
Sunil Gawali, the traffic manager of PMPML said,”With the increase in the number of private vehicles on the roads, the average travel time taken by a bus to cover a distance of 10 kilometers have increased from 15 minutes to 30 minutes in the last 10 years.”
The third factor for an increase in the travel time is the speed reduction in the public buses. As per the officials of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), a reduction in the speed from 18/kmph to 15/kmph in the city limit, and an increase in the number of bus stops from 2,100 to 5,000 have also contributed to the increase in travel time.
“In the year 2004, we only had 600 buses in our fleet, which have increased to 2,100 now. Out of these 2,000 odd buses, about 1,850 buses are on the road everyday. Moreover, the number of bus stops have doubled in the last ten years and that has also made some impact in the travel time.”
Jugal Rathi is the President of the PMP Pravasi Manch, a city-based commuter group. He said, “The travel time taken by the buses in the heart of the city is more, as the roads are narrow, while the vehicular population is more.”
Dhanjay Latkar, 70, a resident of Viman Nagar, said,”I have been commuting by the public bus for the last ten years. Earlier when I used to travel from my house to Fergusson College, it use to take between 10 and 15 minutes. However, now for the same route, it the average travel time is between 20 and 30 minutes.”
Bala Joshi, 65, a resident of Sinhagad road said,”According to me, the time duration has increased due to traffic jams and the increase in the traffic signals. I have been using public transport for more than 15 years now. The average travel time from my house to Swargate was between 15 and 20 minutes which has now gone up by 30 to 40 minutes.”