HYDERABAD: With severe heatwave conditions prevailing in the state, the Car Free Thursday organisers have started a summer campaign called ‘Share a Seat’ to encourage people with cars and two-wheelers to share their vacant seats with people who are waiting at the bus stops, company gates or walking in the hot sun.
Highlighting that it is very difficult to either walk or cycle to work in the hot sun, the initiative is urging the motorists to help other people.
Ramesh Loganathan, president of Hyderabad Software Exports Association (HYSEA) said, “We were successful in bringing awareness among the citizens, however, the critical thing now is to create a framework that incentivises more and more people to practice this regularly. It’s a big challenge in summer to promote walking or cycling. Therefore, we started the ‘Share a Seat’ campaign.”
“We launched it on a pilot basis in the recently organised HYSEA annual summit and received very good response from people. Till date, we could run this programme with the help of volunteers. Now, we are planning to get a dedicated team in addition to the volunteers at least for one year,” Loganathan added.
In the last eight months, Car Free Thursday initiative in Cyberabad has seen a tremendous response and become a national topic. The city’s very own Car Free Day initiative has now been adopted by Gurugram (Gurgaon), Delhi and Karnal and has become a trending topic on social media, transport and civil circles.
In addition to the traffic junction activities, corporate outreach, a sub campaign ‘one lakh hands’ has been also been initiated to sensitise motor-vehicle users by way of letters from one lakh school children. Now, the discussions are on to introduce an effective public-private mechanism in place to sustain the movement.
“A roadmap has already been prepared and submitted to the concerned authorities in the government to initiate the necessary steps to drive this campaign effectively,” the organisers said.
“Over the last one year, Society for Cyberabad Security Council (SCSC) has been very active on working on road safety issues by way of putting in more surveillance systems in place, enlisting many traffic volunteers to work along with the traffic police to manage traffic and also by way of running SHE shuttles to facilitate travel of women employees. We continue to create awareness on car pool and share the seat campaigns among IT companies,” Bharani Kumar Aroll, Secretary, SCSC, said.
Speaking about the initiative, Prashanth Bachu, an urban transport specialist, said “Traffic problem can be solved only if people choose more space-efficient travel. Travelling by bus is 18 to 20 times more space efficient than travelling by car. For those who feel buses are very inconvenient, they should at least car pool. Five people travelling together in a car is equal to eliminating four other private vehicles.”
The campaign has been driven by HYSEA & SCSC in association with TS Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, RTC and Cyberabad Police.