Proposal on anvil to start e-ticketing,new route maps for passengers
The city,which has one of the highest per capita private vehicles in the country,is also witnessing more and more people taking to public buses. As per the figures of the Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU),1.76 lakh passengers commute by bus everyday. The occupancy rate of the local buses that were procured under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) is 76 per cent. Last year the occupancy of buses was 71 per cent.
Proposals are now on the anvil to introduce e-ticketing as well as new route maps for the passengers. Among the most popular routes are routes 1 to 5 and 7 to 10. These include buses to PGI,bus stand in Sector 17 and 43 as well as to the IT Park. There are more passengers commuting on these routes than the others.
The routes to Mohali are,however,witnessing less passengers. The reason stated by officials was that the fare of the buses and autorickshaws to Mohali are similar. Over a period of time,the preference of commuters for buses has been reduced.
Officials informed that it is after the introduction of buses under JNNURM that the occupancy of the buses started improving. Both the AC and non-AC buses are witnessing high occupancy rates. There is a proposal on the anvil to procure 86 more buses under the scheme.
The buses are well maintained,have good seats and are,therefore,attracting passengers. Over a period of time,the occupancy has increased and the local bus service,especially,has a large number of takers. Point to point buses are more popular, said CTU Director TPS Phulka.
Some regular passengers,however,complain about delays in the arrival of buses. There are also complaints about conductors not issuing tickets despite charging the fare.
CTU is now planning to introduce e-ticketing. Under this,tickets would be issued through a hand-held device,which would reduce the chances of the same tickets being used repeatedly. New route maps are being designed too. The colourful sketches outline on a map of Chandigarh the route that a bus would take along with the timings and important stops.
A booklet for the same would be printed in the coming days. It is being proposed that this would be made available to passengers to help them locate their buses.
Recently,a paper on the local bus service was prepared by Indian Institute of Architects Chandigarh-Punjab Chapter Joint Honorary Secretary Archana Chaudhary. She says,The occupancy of local buses is quite high. Around 50 per cent of passengers use this mode of transport for commuting to and from their offices. Around 17 per cent of the users are students.
Chandigarh,with a population of 10.54 lakh,has nearly 9 lakh registered vehicles. There is also a floating populating of vehicles from adjoining areas. The increasing number of vehicles is a cause of concern in the city due to the traffic chaos and lack of parking space. The Master Plan Committee has recommended an improvement in the public transport system.