Govt calls for pvt agencies to provide last-mile commute

Government and private stakeholders engaged in discussions on improving commute at the launch of Urban Mobility Lab in Bengaluru, on Thursday.

Published: 21st February 2020 07:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st February 2020 07:02 AM   |  A+A-

Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya speaks during the launch of Urban Mobility Lab at Bangalore International Centre on Thursday | Meghana Sastry

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Government and private stakeholders engaged in discussions on improving commute at the launch of Urban Mobility Lab in Bengaluru, on Thursday. Lok Sabha memeber Tejasvi Surya, Commissioner of Police Bhaskar Rao, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation Managing Director C Shikha called for coordination with private players to provide last-mile connectivity.

The lab was launched by Rocky Mountain Institute and Micelio in partnership with the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Invest Karnataka Forum, and Department of Industries and Commerce. 
Tejasvi Surya, Member of Parliament for Bengaluru South Lok Sabha Constituency who was the chief guest for the occasion, said, “Various transport players should work in tandem and not look at each other as competition. Suburban rail was held up as it was seen as overlapping with Metro. We need more competition from private players, increasing of bus fleet. There is also a lack of transport specialists to manage traffic.”

Use of data was another aspect discussed by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Managing Director Ajay Seth, Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries Gaurav Gupta and Commissioner of Directorate of Urban Land Transport Ponnuraj.“We need to share data but it should not be used to increase ridership of one mode. It can however, help in coordination between different stakeholders,” said Ajay Seth.

“DULT is trying to prioritise right-of-way for which we need to integrate land use planning. We need to ensure the work and living space is nearby, to reduce the need for travelling. For this data can help us plan to know why people move. 60 percent of travel happens because of work,” Ponnuraj said.BMTC MD Shikha pointed out that BMTC was running on cost minimisation and not on maximising service due to lack of funding.“BMTC can’t reach the last mile because of physical constraints of the bus size,” she said.

Commuters’ forum demands funds for BMTC in budget
Members of Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike met with Transport Minister Laxman Savadi and Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan on Thursday and put forth their demands, ahead of the upcoming state budget. They demanded 2,000 new buses be deployed and the fleet doubled in two years, operational expenses be reduced with the help of a fare stabilisation fund, addition of bus lanes in high-density corridors, demand mapping, route rationalisation, increased frequency of buses and most importantly, reduction of fare prices.

“BMTC has the highest bus fares in the country and the poor cannot afford it,” BBPV stated in the letter. On highlighting that 40% non-bus users are ready to shift to bus if fares are reduced, Savadi agreed that lower fares can increase ridership. He has promised to reduce fares if the state government agrees to pay the student pass subsidy arrears to BMTC, BBPV said in a statement. 

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