by Kumar Manish
Pune, India: ITDP India is providing technical support for ‘Pune Bus Day (PBD)’, a first of its kind event to promote & popularise public transport facilities in Pune city. PBD is a social media initiative of Sakal group, a media conglomerate, to encourage the use of public transport among all classes of people on November 1, 2012.
In the run up to the event, ITDP India team has analysed the existing public transport trips, comprehensive mobility plan, and identified major transport corridors in Pune for making ‘Pune Bus Day’ bus operational plan – the event to be held on Thursday. ITDP has been actively working with various public agencies to promote the use of public transport in Pune for the past three years. Ms Shreya Gadepalli, Regional director, ITDP India, said, “The Pune Bus Day is a wonderful initiative that has brought together many stakeholders to showcase importance of bus based public transport in improving mobility for all.”
ITDP India team will be conducting several technical surveys to gauge the impact of bus day, when a good number of daily commuters will be using public buses instead of private vehicles, and a day prior to the event. Pune is IT and educational hub located in Western part of India and has grown exponentially in economic and geographical terms. Once known as, city of cyclists, now the city is bursting at seams with increasing number of private vehicles resulting in traffic congestion, deterioration in quality of air, high number of traffic accidents and marginalization of cyclists & pedestrians on roads. According to Pune RTO, there were 23.13 lakh vehicles registered in Pune till October 2012.
Pranjali Deshpande Agashe, senior associate with ITDP India, part of PBD team, said, “ The surveys are aimed to understand the impact of Pune Bus Day when a good number of private vehicle users will be leaving their vehicles at home and will be using public mode of transport, mostly PMPML buses, to commute. Analysis will be useful the for Pune region towards long term investments for sustainable transportation options.”
“ For Pune Bus Day, the city bus services have been planned well in advance, with additional public transport buses with higher frequency and express bus services in the main traffic corridors run by PMPML,” added she.
Volunteers from Vaikunth Mehta National Institute of Co-operative Management, Art of Living foundation, Padmabhushan Dr. Vasantdada Patil College of Architecture and Indira Management Institute will be supporting ITDP team for conducting the bus occupancy, on and off board, willingness and user satisfaction survey on the bus day.
According to Sakal Media Group,‘Pune Bus Day’ initiative is an attempt to demonstrate how the use of optimum number of buses with high frequency can actually reduce the traffic congestion in the city and to influence decision makers to improve public transport facilities in the city. The event has full support from all the quarters including different political parties, local NGOs, institutions, corporate houses, among others.
For more information on Pune Bus Day, visit pbd.sakaaltimes.com.