BENGALURU: Transport experts in the city who have been shouting from rooftops asking Bengalureans to shift to public transport should be a happy lot. Car sales figures in Bengaluru for the month of April have shown a dip by 11%. Experts are attributing this dip to rising awareness levels among Bengalureans about the positives of taking public transport to avoid the city’s congested roads and its parking problems.
Enhanced Metro connectivity, inclination towards car-pooling and rocketing levels of pollution are also attributed to the drop in car sales in the city. Bengaluru is the second largest car market in India and has recorded a steady decrease in car sales, the reasons for which, analysts claim, are many.
Metro services have helped in de-congesting roads, especially in high traffic zones during the peak hours. People thereby, prefer using the Metro services so as to avoid traffic snarls on the roads. Too many vehicles on limited road space has led to chaotic, congested and slow-moving traffic, with the average speed of city traffic movement less than 15 km/hour.
Dr. Ashish Verma, mobility expert and assistant professor at Indian Institute of Science’s transport engineering lab, says driving has become increasingly stressful due to the mismatch in the demand and supply vis-a-vis the road infrastructure and supply of cars on the road. He said that people do not want a stress-filled mobility when they take their own vehicles out, and so they shift to easier, more time-efficient means of transportation — city bus service, Metro service, car-pooling, or even shifting to two-wheelers for better use of road space.
Verma said economy can be kept at a steady pace by exporting indigenously manufactured cars instead of stressing on local sale and causing air pollution and traffic congestion to rise. “Law mechanisms should be put in place so as to ensure the same,” he said.
Traffic expert MN Sreehari said, “App-based car-pooling makes it more economically viable and lessen the crowd on roads to make it a preferred mode of transportation. Driving has become stressful and people do not want to take their vehicles out for fear of getting stuck in traffic and of collisions caused by traffic.”Lack of parking space availability and garages in the city also serve as a deterrent to vehicle population, he added.
Mahesh Hariharan, CEO of Baghirathi Group, which provides technology solutions in transportation, believes the government is taking necessary steps in minimising vehicle population and promoting shared transportation. He said awareness among the youth is increasing through social media about the ill-effects of pollution.