Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation will not hike fares
BANGALORE: If you’ve been planning to leave your vehicles home and take the bus, this is the right time to switch to public transport. The good news is that Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) says it won’t hike fares for now.
“We’re not affected by the petrol hike, as our fleet runs on diesel and a few buses on blended fuel with a mix of ethanol,” said KR Sreenivasa, managing director, BMTC. BMTC sources told TOI that once there’s a significant percentage increase in ridership, a minor fare hike will not put off commuters. “We’ll be happy if more people start taking buses. This also gives us an opportunity to improve our service and re-evaluate the needs of our commuters.” BMTC transports 46% of the city’s population every day, catering to about 4.3 million people.
Time to switch to public transport
Bangalore: A staggering 88% of the 90 lakh vehicles running on city roads are privately owned . The challenge is to get the figure down to less than 80%, said SV Ranganath , state chief secretary , at the seminar on Doubling Public Transport Share , on Thursday .
Organized by International Association of Public Transport ( UITP) and Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), the seminar highlighted the need to make public transport a choice for every citizen .Given thatthe number of private vehicles has jumped from 39 lakh to 90 lakh in the past decade in Bangalore , making a conscious shift to public transport is the need of the day.
“While population has grown at a rate of 48%, vehicle growth has seen a 150% jump . Correspondingly , publictransporthasseen limited growth ,” said KR Srinivasa , managing director , KSRTC . He also said that one bus on the road can easily replace 24 cars moving on the same stretch . Going by figures compiled by the state transport department in 2012, public transport has only an 8% modal share on roads.
“The elements of a successful strategy are predictability, understandability, reliability, comfort, convenience, cost, access and availability,”saidsocialtechnologist Ashwin Mahesh , talking of measures BMTC should adopt .
The city has benefited car and two-wheeler owners by not adopting the parking policy prepared by the department of urban land transport (DULT), said V Manjula , commissioner of DULT. She said that Bangalore has adopted the policy but certain things have been given a miss .
The policy charges more for on-road parking and parking in the Central Business District for more than two hours . “If parking is priced on time-of-day basis , like more during weekends and in high-density areas , it will discourage people from using their personal vehicles and start depending on public transport ,” said Manjula .
Bangalore does not charge congestion cess on vehicles parked in narrow streets , where traffic flow is hindered . However , the parking policy is largely enforced by Bangalore Traffic Police and some companies and traders’ associations , like on Brigade Road . BBMP is yet to adopt the policy , which will make parking exclusively rated for apartments and office buildings having free basement parking .
“Parking space is in huge demand . People have to understand its commercial value ,” said Manjula . She presented data which shows that for over 3.79 million personal vehicles in Bangalore , parking space of 20.5 million sqm is required . By 2025, space requisition would escalate to an additional 9500 sqm .
Roads will be closed along stretches where work is to be undertaken for Phase II of the Metro, N Sivasailam, MD, BMRC, said. He said the total network implementation under Phase I is 42.3km and planning under Phase II is 72.1km. Sivasailam also hinted at a tie-up with BMTC to introduce the common ticket system for bus and Metro.
In Chennai, the Metro authorities are looking at a multimodal integration plan. “We intend to integrate Metro services with transport hubs as well as system integration,” said Rajaraman Kalyanaraman, MD, CMRL, Chennai, speaking on initiatives to enhance public transport (PT) share. Significantly, PT share has gone down from 54% in 1970 to a mere 31% in 2008, he said.