BENGALURU: Necessity is the mother of invention and this seems to ring true for the city’s traffic police. With Nurpatunga Road closed for repair, a dedicated lane has been facilitated by traffic police on Seshadri Road which allows buses to move without any hassles.
“(A) Separate bus lane was provided at K R Circle to successfully tide over the congestion due to Nrupatunga Rd repair. Some 400 buses (passed) in one hour,” tweeted Traffic DCP (East) Abhishek Goyal on Wednesday.
The move has earned favour among motorists who are demanding that this be replicated on busy stretches in the city. In response to Goyal’s tweet, BMTC’s tweet read, “We need more such bus only/bus priority lanes in the city”
But for commuters waiting for a bus on Seshadri Road, the special lane has become an inconvenience. Many complained that they have to walk to the centre of the road to board a bus as the dedicated bus lane is away from bus stops.
“This dedicated lane for buses has brought some discipline among unruly drivers but now passengers have to board buses from the middle of the road as buses are halting away from the bus stop,” said K Manjunath, a college student.
Experts say a bus plies on Seshadri Road and around Majestic area every three seconds where dedicated bus lanes would be effective. BMTC is also pushing for dedicated lanes from Silk Board to K R Puram and MG Road to Hope Farm via Whitefield but the proposals are still on paper. BMTC has 6,191 buses that make 73,775 trips covering 11.95 lakh km and ferry over 50 lakh passengers every day.
“A dedicated lane will ensure buses reach destinations faster. This will attract more people to switch from private vehicles to public transport. The lane can also be used by ambulances. Most of our buses don’t reach destinations on time because of lack of dedicated lanes,” a senior BMTC official said.
R Hithendra, Additional Police Commissioner (Traffic), said a dedicated bus lane can carry up to 60 buses in an hour. “It’s not practical to provide dedicated bus bays on narrow roads. If we provide one lane exclusively for buses, then other vehicles will find it difficult to move and it will lead to traffic congestion. This concept can be implemented on roads that have three to four lanes,” he said.
In 2015, traffic police provided separate lanes for autos in the Central Business District but the response was poor. Experts say city should replicate Ahmedabad’s Bus Rapid Transit System.