BENGALURU: That traffic is one of Bengaluru’s biggest shortcomings is not breaking news. And one of the reasons behind increased congestion on the city’s roads is the fact that people rely heavily on private vehicles to get around public transport.
Keeping this issue in mind, Namma GovJam 2017 was organised in the city on Wednesday and will be held today at 6 pm, where citizens and officials from the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) gathered to discuss issues such as how to integrate the BMTC with other modes of transport, how consumers can get relevant information about a journey, how non bus users can be convinced to switch to this means of transport, how safety of passengers can be assured, and how bus travel can be made accessible to more people.
These weren’t just brainstorming sessions, the groups went out onto the streets to do surveys on how people feel about bus transport. “We went and spoke to commuters using private transport about what will help them to change their minds, and also told them about the importance of using public transport,” said Sandeep Anirudhan, a member of AIKYAM Community for Sustainable Living.
Nayana MN, divisional traffic officer, BMTC, said that this kind of gathering was very useful to understanding the mindset of the public. An important area of discussion was on the lack of accessibility and information reaching commuters. “One problem we’re facing is that no real time information is reaching the public. Despite their being a dedicated app and website, the information on it is unreliable,” said Sidda Lingesh, divisional mechanical engineer, BMTC.
Agreeing with him, was Namitha, a student at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, who is pursuing her PG in transport planning. “I’ve tried using the app, and found that almost all the information was incorrect.”
Despite their being 6,500 BMTC buses in the city and 52 lakh commuters, decongesting Bengaluru’s roads is still a task due to the constant influx of people into the city. Chidambar, divisional traffic officer, BMTC, told us, adding that the city’s narrow roads are also a hindrance.