To encourage the over one lakh software personnel working at the Rajiv Gandhi Software Park in Hinjewadi to use public transport, Hinjewadi Industries Association (HIA) on Tuesday announced the launch of a special mass transport scheme, Metrozip.
Launched by Baramati MP Supriya Sule, Metrozip would be a dedicated bus service run in collaboration with HIA and government agencies.
Speaking on the occasion, Anil Patwardhan, president of HIA said that the service would be aimed at people who come to the software park in their own vehicles. As per statistics with the Pune Regional Transport Office (RTO), around 80,000 vehicles come every day to Hinjewadi straining roads and other infrastructure.
Different software companies have their own transport but only 30 percent of the employees on the IT park use them. Patwardhan mentioned that Metrozip is aimed at the 70 per cent who use their own transport for commuting. Metrozip would be a ticketed service, with employees given prepaid smart card to be swiped by the conductor. To start with, 13 buses would be run on four routes viz Hinjewadi to Pimple Saudagar, Hinjewadi to Aundh, Hinjewadi to Nigdi and Hinjewadi to Kothrud aimed at carrying 1000 passengers.
“Once the service picks up, we would be adding more routes and also buses,” he said.
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A few years back, HIA had chalked out special routes for Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) to remove traffic congestion. Many companies in the software park have been using PMPML buses for employees. However, sources in the PMPML mentioned that many companies stopped the contract of public buses, and at present just 15 companies use them. The transport body on its own runs 60 buses to and fro Hinjewadi.
Asked about the PMPML bus routes, Patwardhan said that it will act as an ancillary service.
Sule said PMPMPL would be strengthened to meet the demand of the IT park.
“Metrozip is a business model and the service provider has promised to run the buses for six months at least. Our members have sent out teasers and given enough publicity about the move. Registration would start online and the bus service per se would start from September 1,’’ said Patwardhan.