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Join hands to write a Transport Policy Proposal for Bengaluru

249 users have liked.
Praja related

Post Mobilicity, we, as a community, have this opening to create a Transport Policy proposal for Bengaluru using not just that draft we saw last week, but several such proposals that may exist today. What if we join hands to create a concrete document (a type of "crowdsourcing"), and try this as our first focused proposal creation exercise. (neither an NGO, nor a media house) sort of exists for doing exactly such things - Internet based crowdsourcing for city's good - in open and transparent ways.

We would need some creativity to run a managed yet open and transparent community authoring process. It can't be a free for all. There will be good content and bad content, so we will need moderation. A combination of democratic means, and expert's opinions and interventions can help to filter things as much as possible.

How do we do it? One way could be the "two pools" approach:

The First Step

We would first sign up with Karnataka's transport department - they would be handed over a completed document at the end of this crowdsourcing exercise.

Two pools

We start with a skeleton document (a doc with just the basic headings) from some acknowledged expert. No content, just a structure.

#1 - Open Pool

A document or post, open to all and managed by a few volunteer moderators and translators.

  • Community keep building the document using the starting skeleton, and referencing the documents available for viewing by all.
  • Moderators keep merging comments and suggestions to fill the starting skeleton. Polls could be used for any loud disputes.
  • Kannada translated version to be maintained in parallel.
  • Merged and summarized output from this pool would regularly be transferred to a second pool.

#2 - Controlled Pool

Similar area (document or post) as open pool, but

  • Only a pre-selected set of experts (say 7-10 of them) can edit here, everyone else can only read.
  • All authors would be named experts with clear public resumes. So no anonymous authors here.
  • City's technocrats can be part of the controlled pool to add in their angles and constraints. Their additions and edits will be transparent and visible.
  • Output from pool#1 would be further edited and bettered here. The main objective for this controlled pool will be to resolve conflicts in the content received from the open pool. Experts might add entirely new content and references as well if the larger community misses any big points inside the open pool.

Expanding beyond Internet

Local NGOs, or activists could be enlisted as partners to connect knowledgeable and aware folks with no access to Internet (cargo movers, auto unions, cab operators) with this process. These partners will provide wider inputs via pool #1 mentioned above.


When majority of experts feel that the document has reached a good shape, or upon expiry of a set time period, the document will be closed for edits, and presented to Transport Deptt or Ministry.


What does everyone feel about such an Internet based community driven process? Definitely not perfect, but should be a worthy experiment to provide chances to a lot many more people than the usual to take part in preparing such policy proposals.

All inputs are welcome to tune and develop a process to build this policy proposal. Avoid off topic comments (on what the policy should be, etc), lend your thoughts to this managed crowdsourcing process please.


idontspam's picture


145 users have liked.

When do we start? 

sanjayv's picture

For Bangalore or Karnataka?

134 users have liked.

 The original document is for Karnataka.  For best impact, it will be important to address the intent of the original document.  The two pool approach sounds impressive and ambitious.

murali772's picture

way forward

150 users have liked.

Way forward to "" eventually becoming the platform for the Upper House - so, let's have the 'skeleton document'

Muralidhar Rao
ssheragu's picture

transport policy

133 users have liked.



excellent idea

but a few suggestions & questions

what are the aspects which the transport polcy should deal ?

is it only commuter transport or even goods transport

does it deal also with roads

let the skeletal form be provided at the earliest.


many thanks


Srinath Heragu

Nitinjhanwar's picture

Transport Policy

168 users have liked.

 Am available as Independent Individual Consulting Civil Engineer

for #controlled pool.

Nitin Jhanwar




silkboard's picture

Will not be easy

150 users have liked.

Will not be easy, but must be tried. Key is to be clear on what exactly we are going to produce (so that all inputs are relevant), and manage the moderation well.

Sounds very exciting, there is absolutely nothing to lose in trying this.

Also, the website will need some adjustments and imporvments to do this.

sanjayv's picture

I think we should not do this

139 users have liked.

 After thinking for a while, I am of the opinion that we should not spend precious time on a transport policy for Bangalore. The government departments are a complicated mess of divided responsibility.  As per Sudhira, urban transportation is under the Urban Development Department (UDD) and Karnataka transportation is under the Transport Department.  So a transport policy for Bangalore submitted to the transport department will very well be ignored by the UDD.

Further, good policy needs a lot of inputs and understanding that we will struggle with as lay citizens.  We can do very well critiquing a policy or trying to define the objectives of a policy.  However, implementable policy needs a level of understanding of existing policy and incentives, working of government departments and a knowledge of what has been tried and how it works around the globe,  that in my opinion, most of us do not have.  That is the job of real experts who work on this stuff full time.

We are all active people with things that compete for our time.  Do we want to really spend our energy on pulling something like this together which will probably remain an academic document and nothing else?  My read is the following. We got into this space when during the panel discussion in Mobilicity when Ravi suggested to Shankarlinge Gowda that Praja write a policy on Bangalore transport.  Gowda had nothing to lose and he was on the spot, so he said sure, why not.  He always has his circular filing cabinet for things like this.

In my opinion, what is really needed for everything to move in the right direction are three things (1) Devolution of powers to a third tier of government (2) A sensible means of funding to this third tier (3) Capacity building - a process by which local government can hire professional expertise to run the show as opposed to the "jack of all trades" IAS/KAS officers.

As discussed with HU folks after Mobilicity, why don't we focus our energies on this issue.  What should a model bill look like? What should be the departments under the local governments for urban areas in Karnataka.  How will the city government budget be funded.  Can we write the law such that the government can hire interested players?  How can we move that Bill along in the Karnataka legislature? What is Ravindra doing on this issue?  I am suggesting that we pick this issue, join hands with others who are more in the doing space and try to get a law passed.

The proposed effort to write a transport policy is an expensive investment which will give very low returns, as I read it.

ssheragu's picture


145 users have liked.


I am totally in disagreement with sanjayv

We as the users are in the best position to define a transport policy; in fact we can define the policy based on all our specific & unique requirements which can be dovetailed into the transport olcy framework

Its up to the concerend department to take our policy and honour it provided it meets the parameters of the transport laws, rules & regulations

We should not stall our work or spare any efforts in mutually arriving at a good rather the best transport policy and in submitting it to the concrened department; rather it is more immedaite worth in framing a transport policy than in spending our efforts on bills & laws

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

sanjayv's picture

Can you define policy?

147 users have liked.

 @ Srinath Heragu - How do you define "policy"?  I think our disagreement stems from our differing definitions of this word.

kbsyed61's picture

Transport Policy Objectives

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Per National Urban Transport Policy, Objective of transport policy is to:

  1. Incorporating urban transportation as an important parameter at the planning stage
  2. Encouraging integrated land use and transport planning so that travel distances are minimized.
  3. Bringing about an equitable allocation of road space with people and vehicles, as its main focus
  4. Investing in transport systems that encourage greater use of public transport and non-motorized vehicles rather than personalized motor vehicles
  5. Establishing regulatory mechanism to allow a level playing field for all operators of transport services
  6. Introducing Intelligent Transport System for traffic management and increasing effectiveness of regulatory and enforcement mechanisms
  7. Addressing concern for road safety and reducing pollution levels through changes in traveling practices, better enforcement, stricter norms, technological improvements etc.
  8. Promoting use of cleaner technologies
  9. Associating private sector in activities where their strengths can be tapped beneficially

Courtesy - KSRTC's CIRT Project Report for Mysore City Service and National Urban Transport Policy


nagrajprabhu's picture

Proposal for BMTC - how well can we leverage the publi transport

153 users have liked.


Interesting topic. Efficient and fast public transport is need of any city in the world.

Here is my proposal. Not sure if this is already discussed by any other teams/committees on transportation

1. BMTC in B'lore seems to be no more in RED. buying Volvos and adding more buses to its fleet. How can we leverage on this aspect of BMTC?

2. Current system is based on hubs and spoke model and you have to be going to Majestic (KBS) to get to the next point. Let us have grid system (North, South, West, East, Central city districts)

3. All trunk routes to ply bigger buses and all smaller routes to ply  mini buses

4. No concept of conductor on the bus. Let the conductor be at each bus stands to issue the ticket

5. The tickets are purchased by commuters from orgin point to destination. All inter-changes in between should be free of cost and the price of the ticket should include the full fare from point A to B valid for x hours

6. what will point #5 do? - It will reduce the fight between the conductors and the commuters for lack of change, the fight between Kannadigas and non-kannadigas divide the conductors sometime create, the conductor wading thru' densly populated bus. The investment done on 'Sarathi' to check any corruption by the driver/conductor of non-issuance of tickets and many more. You can imagine the other set of benifits yourselves.

7. The wait period for inter-change to catch the next bus to your destination should be guaranteed to be not more than 5 mins.

8. What will #7 do? - it will reduce the rush that gets created a few crucial junctions where the commuters wait for certain route buses and those buses come very rarely, thus the set of people waiting for the bus only increases and that bus gets over crowded. You know the rest from there.

9. All the tickets are priced in the multiples of Rs. 5.

10. What are we going to achieve by this?

a. Traffic menace created by Auto drivers. Need to ensure mass transportation gains more popularity over any other form of transportation

b. cleaner environment, less cluttered roads, less pollution, less vehicles on the road, less traffic jams

11. How do we do it?

a. Bus day - already in place

b. can we have celebraties take the bus once every month and promote public transport?

c. concession passes. Concession rides once in a month

d. Cleaner buses, no rash driving by drivers

e. Print and TV media to provide some ad spaces to promote buses in the early stages (as corporate social responsibility/obligation)

f. Higher parking lot fees by the govt. Or privatise parking and let there be free market in that space.

12. What makes this project a success?

a. publicity to the campaign

b. speedy connectivity between transit points (inter-changes)

c. cleaner buses,

13. what changes need to be done?

a. Buses should have one entry and one exit point (doors)

b. foolproof ticket which cannot be duplicated or forged

c. coordinated plying of buses which will help the feeder routes

d. A control room to manage the supply and demand position.

e. Some money to achieve all these. May not be really a huge amount.

Nagraj Prabhu
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