BENGALURU: This Sunday, the state government will launch its ambitious ‘Less Traffic Day’ campaign to reduce the number of vehicles on the city’s roads. The campaign was announced last month. In order to ensure that motorists are not forced to take their vehicles out on Sunday, transport agencies like the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), have made arrangements to provide discounted rides.
Bus users on Sunday will be able to enjoy a Rs 5 discount on the price of a daily pass which will cost Rs 65. The BMTC will also operate additional services in densely populated areas based on the demand for buses that day. “This is the first Less Traffic Day and we are prepared to run additional services. We will fine-tune our services based on the feedback received this Sunday in time for the next Less Traffic Day,” a BMTC official said.
Namma Metro is also offering a discounted fare for its passengers. A 25 per cent discount on the fare instead of the normal 15 per cent discount will be applicable for those who use the contactless smart cards on Sunday. “We will also operate trains at more frequent intervals if necessary for the benefit of commuters,” said BMRCL MD Mahendra Jain.
With over 72 lakh vehicles registered in Bengaluru, the government announced the campaign hoping to ensure that for one day in a month, the city would see low air pollution levels if most vehicles stayed off the roads. According to Karnataka State Pollution Control Board figures, 19.4 per cent of all vehicles in the city had failed a pollution check test and were emitting more than the allowed amount of emission.
However, with the choice of taking the public transport instead of private vehicles being left to citizens, it remains to be seen if people will participate in the campaign in large numbers on Sunday. When The New Indian Express spoke to a few people on Friday, awareness about the campaign seemed to be low. “I was not sure if it is compulsory to leave your car at home or it is voluntary. Sundays are a time for leisure travel and if there is public transport available, I would not mind taking it,” said Rashmi H, a resident of J P Nagar.
Others said they would wait and watch. “The roads are less crowded anyway on Sundays. Let them start it on a weekday, then it will make more sense. I would wait for a month before I commit to leaving my vehicle at home every Less Traffic Day,” said Kaushik Banerjee, a resident of Indiranagar.
What’s on the cards
BMTC: Rs 5 discount on day pass; to cost Rs 65
BMRCL: 25 per cent discount on smart cards
Both BMTC and BMRCL to operate extra services
Non-transport vehicles in Bengaluru: 65.5 lakh
Transport vehicles: 7 lakh