Citizens push for ‘commuter-friendly’ bus fare plan

The plan for “commuter-friendly” fares which is high on the agenda of Shrikar Pardeshi has drawn praise from several commuters in Pune,Khadki and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Written by Express News Service | Pune | Published: July 24, 2013 2:02:14 am

The plan for “commuter-friendly” fares which is high on the agenda of Shrikar Pardeshi,who is temporarily holding the charge of chairman and managing director of PMPML,has drawn praise from several commuters in Pune,Khadki and Pimpri-Chinchwad.

On Monday,Newsline had reported that PMPML was mulling the introduction of Rs 5,Rs 10 and Rs 15 fares to avoid daily tiffs between conductors and commuters. The heated arguments over currency change is a big put off for commuters who are discouraged to travel by PMPML buses.

“To avoid this headache,commuters feel better to travel by other modes of transport or use personal vehicles,” said Iklas Sayed,a resident of Akurdi.

Welcoming PMPML’s move,Col (retd) R D Singh,founder,Pune Buses Pravasi and Padchari Suvidha Sanghatna,said,“If the new CMD implements the Rs 5,Rs 10 and Rs 15 fare move,commuters will be delighted. Currently,conductors are creating all sorts of problem,unnecessarily indulging in quarrels over loose change and deterring commuters from travelling by PMPML buses.”

Singh said his organisation has been campaigning for the past five years seeking increase in PMPML bus fleet to 2,500. “Every bus is jampacked and this prevents commuters,especially women and girls,from preferring PMPML service. If the bus fleet is increased,we are sure public transport would be widely preferred to private mode of transport by citizens,” he said.

Singh said Pardeshi’s initiative to bring down the breakdown of buses will put maximum buses on roads.

Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch said Pardeshi should fix Rs 5 fare for short distances. “Fare for short distance travel (up to 7km or 8 km) should be fixed at Rs 5.

This will discourage commuters from travelling by autos or using personal vehicles. In any case,commuters do not prefer auto service for long distance travel.”

Rathi said the move to round of the fare figure has been a long pending demand from commuters and Pardeshi should not hesistate in introducing it. “Pardeshi should take other directors into confidence and implement the move in the larger interest of the transport utility and commuters.” Rathi said the move would be successful only if PMPML rounds off the fare figure at the lowest point. “If it rounds of Rs 12 fare to Rs 15,commuters will not be a happy lot,” he said.

Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrians First said,”Pardeshi says 80 per cent of the fleet should be on roads to take care of commuters. It should not be 80 per cent,but 95. It is a wrong notion and an old idea to say that one-fifth of fleet can remain off roads due various reasons. Transport organisations in the world are successful because their maximum fleet is on the road…”

R Sathyan,a resident of Pradhikaran,said,“If PMPML want to be successful they should emulate the Metropolitan Transport Corporation,Chennai. They make profits depite having the lowest transport cost.”

“Rounding of fares could be one of the solutions to draw more passengers. The best solution,however,would be to introduce token system where the balance can be adusted in future.”

Pandurang Garsund of Khadki Citizens Forum said,“PMPML should introduce passes for senior citizens at low rates. We welcome the move to fix tickets at Rs 5,Rs 10 and Rs 15. This will encourage commuters to prefer PMPML as preferred mode of transport.”

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