Who had thought that one day 'Bus Day' observance will go places. Though in Bangalore it has relegated to a monthly ritual, since Feb 2010, it has been tried in many cities including Chennai, Cochin etc. Now if news report is to believed, Starting October 9th , Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry has decided to observe every Wednesday as the 'Bus Day' as part of its austerity measure.
Under pressure from public to lead by example, the Petroleum Minister Shri. Veerappa Moily has promised to take the public transport for his commute to his office every Wednesday.
Source - NDTV
...Leading by example, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily today said he will travel by public transport every Wednesday, starting October 9, as part of the fuel conservation drive to save $5 billion in oil import bill. Mr Moily said he and all officials in his ministry as well as in oil PSUs will travel by public transport every Wednesday.
"I had Chief Ministers, central ministries and PSU heads to declare one day of the week as 'bus day' during which staffers be encouraged to utilize only public transport for their daily commute. As part of it, I will either take metro or a bus to work every Wednesday starting from October 9," he said.
A circular is also being issued for asking officers in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas as well as 14 public sector firms under the ministry like ONGC and IOC to take public transport every Wednesday.It's a voluntary act. I cannot punish anyone not taking the public transport but I want everyone from the highest ranking officers to the lowest, to take public transport every Wednesday," he said.
In late 2009, during the 1st Mobilicity event, our dear friend Manjari had proposed Bus Day concept to BMTC. It took about 3-4 months of intense campaigning with the BMTC to convince and finally it was launched in Feb 2010. Though the initial idea was to push BMTC to improve their coverage so that public is encouraged to switch over to Public Transport. Though BMTC received a very good response to the monthly Bus Day observance, it also received tons of feedback primarily highlighting the BMTC's "Lopsided Connectivity". In some areas it is over served and some it under serves, the areas which needs badly. Though BMTC claims that it has improved, there has been no study on this claim. In absence of any data it is not befitting to comment one way or the other way on improvements by BMTC. Now the Bus Day has relegated to a monthly ritual.
Weblink for Bus Day Observance in Bengaluru
Praja members played a very vital role in convincing BMTC to start the Bus Day concept. For many months it provided BMTC with loads of feedback. The website feedback that Praja members provided had the impact and I can say with certainty that today's redesigned BMTC Website is the result of Praja's feedback.
Weblink for Feedback to BMTC
The engagement didn't ended there. Many of us continued the dialog with BMTC for more than year and we still do so. Our friend Pranav had even engaged with BMTC for months to upgrade their back-end IT systems and applications.
Last but not the least, Bus Day Credits certainly goes to Manjari, Sathya, Srivatsa, Bharat, Suresh, Srinidhi, Ritesh, Murali Sir, VVR, Pranav, Narayanan, Jenny and many more who had put lot of efforts to make it a grand success on its first launch in Feb 2010.
Moral of the story is good intended efforts don't go waste. These initiatives really help boost my moral as well as of many others. Looking forward to one day to read in these news headlines about the flagging of 1st Suburban Train. Amen !