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Monday, January 20, 2020

Bengaluru: Bus Yatra by citizens, celebs to promote ‘bus priority lanes’

Citizen groups, various celebrities, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and other government officials are planning to take part in the program.

Written by Darshan Devaiah BP | Published: December 10, 2019 8:54:16 pm
BUS-BMTC-priority-lane The route covers 12 high-density corridors, including areas on Outer Ring Road, Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Old Madras Road, Old Airport Road, West of Chord Road, Magadi Road, and Ballari Road, among others.

In Bengaluru, citizens will join hands to help the government in implementing the bus priority lane. A unique program #NimbusExpress Bus Yatra has been arranged on Wednesday by various civic groups in the city to promote the bus priority lane.

Citizen groups, various celebrities, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and other government officials are planning to take part in the program.

Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) along with Bus Prayaneekara Vedike (BBPV), Whitefield Rising (WR), Bellandur Jothege (BJ) announced #NimbusExpress Bus Yatra, where all citizens and celebrities will take BMTC bus starting from Silk Board or Marathahalli at 9 am and convene at Ecospace Skywalk around 10 am.

To decongest traffic and give priority to public transport, Bengaluru has got its first Bus Priority Lane. Operational from November 15, the lane runs along Outer Ring Road (ORR), from Swami Vivekananda Road to Silk Board.

According to CfB, the objective of this bus yatra is to raise awareness and encourage compliance so that it becomes a habit and success, that can then become a model for adoption across the city.

READ| Explained: How Bengaluru hopes to decongest traffic with its bus priority lanes

“It has been nearly a month since a Bus Priority Lane has been designated on Outer Ring Road (ORR). It is Bengaluru’s fight back against traffic, especially on a corridor notoriously jam-packed with private vehicles, long delays just to exit parking lots of large IT parks and terrible pollution, affecting health, morale and productivity,” CfB said, in the statement.

“The ORR Bus Priority Lane that designates a dedicated lane for public buses, must be encouraged by all of us and adopted by commuters who travel this segment daily,” CfB added.

The bus priority lane route covers 12 high-density corridors, including areas on Outer Ring Road, Hosur Road, Bannerghatta Road, Old Madras Road, Old Airport Road, West of Chord Road, Magadi Road, and Ballari Road, among others.

The bus priority lane has been established by the BBMP, Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), and Bengaluru City Traffic Police (BTP).

The CfB and other civic groups have listed a few reasons why the Bus Priority Lane and the #NimbusExpress Bus Yatra is important:

* Buses carry lot more people (70 at a time) and therefore they deserve to have more access to the road space. Each bus takes up space of three cars but carries capacity of 30 cars. Buses are the best available solution to move more people.

* This will allow more commuters to reach their workplaces faster, improving their morale & productivity and their work-life balance

* As car and motorbike users realise this, they may also be incentivised to switch to the faster, less stressful buses. This will reduce the volume of vehicles, hence reduce traffic congestion and jams. As speed of bus improves, buses can complete more trips and be available to commuters more frequently.

* This in turn, directly improves air quality along that entire 22 km corridor, reducing pollution and positively impacting health.

* Buses serve the majority of travelling Bengalureans. Buses also serve all demographics of commuters, including daily wagers, security guards, vendors, students, and IT employees. Prioritising a lane for the bus ensures a more equitable use of road space, which is a common, public resource to all, regardless of economic strata. Cars and motorbikes appropriating all the space starves other passengers unfairly. We need more bus lanes in all major road corridors.

* Recent commuter experiments, conducted over multiple days of the week, have shown that the buses running on the BPL take less time than a private car to travel from KR Puram to Ecospace on the ORR, traveling at peak hours in the morning. This validates and confirms the need for dedicated bus lane corridors to reduce congestion, improve commute time and air quality.

READ| Bengaluru’s bus priority lane reduces travel time, finds citizen survey

Srinivas Alavilli of Citizens for Bengaluru said, “The #NimmaBusYatra will start from Silk Board at 9 am towards Iblur, Bengaluru city police commissioner Bhaskar Rao and City traffic police commissioner, Ravikanthe Gowda, BMTC MD C Shikha, Anupam Agarwal BMTC Director, Special Commissioner, BBMP, D Ranadeep, Shamanth K Technical Head of DULT will join the yatra.”

“Celebrities like Chetan- Kannada film actor, Swarathma- music band, MD Pallavi- singer, Ashwin Sharma -singer will be joining the yatra,” he added.

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