BMTC Meeting Presentation and Minutes

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BusPublic Transport

We had a meeting with the CTM(O) of BMTC, the first half a presentation was presented by Praja (attached below)

There were a couple of topics discussed ranging from how to publicize BMTC to feeder minibusses.

A list of suggestions was also given to BMTC. The list of suggestion has been put up in a different

AttachmentSize
Essence of BMTC Discussions on Praja-V3-(Includes co-ordinatition slide).ppt981.5 KB

Comments

How did the BMTC meeting go?

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Manjari,

Thanks for posting the presentation. BTW, how did the meeting go? Eagerly waiting for the meeting minutes.

Syed

Meeting minutes

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 Date: 28th August 2009

 Attended by: BMTC CTM(O) and other officials, praja members

 First we presented the PPT from praja

 A list of suggestion was handed over and a few topics were discussed in detail. like

1.) Point to point Service: BMTC is against this service as it is not viable but at the same time faces issue because everyone wants such a service for their convenience.

2.) Collaboration with Auto for last mile service: They have tried to make arrangement with Autos but it didnt take off because BMTC couldnt commit financial guarantee.

3.) We suggested that they should get routes reviewed by stakeholders: Their response was that there is a committee to do so which is called grahak shakti (comfort task force)

4.) There was a suggestion that we should get proper information from help desk: and their response was that once their new website is up, then the people taking helpdesk calls can use it to provide route information too.

5.)Feeder minibuses: they had experimented it in 2002-2003, they had bought 140 minibuses but they require too much money for maintenance. they are not robust and also staff cost is higher than vehicle.

Then there was a discussion as to how praja can help provide information about BMTC to concern public via road show and posts.

BMTC meeting

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The CTM(O) and other officials listened patiently. They agreed to my request for a time line for their response. Manjari and Mithila (BMTC) are to meet on Saturdays for follow up. Hope some thing will happen! K.V.Pathy

Need for Auto/Taxi supplementing PT services!

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Thanks to Manjari, Sudheendra and all those who made efforts to attend the meeting at BMTC. Seems to be a good meeting and good to hear that attendees got to put across their concerns and suggestions to BMTC. I am hoping that we should hear from BMTC soon on this.

I think the point about "Auto/Taxi to supplement BMTC" in the presentation needs clarification. One payment for door-to-door service will be big challenge given the Bus ticket and auto/taxi fares are not same and the difference is big. Any approach on these lines would not be viable and feasible. What is being suggested is that BMTC needs to

  1. Support infrastructure for easy transfers From/To auto/taxis at Bus stations, major interchanges and at bus shelters wherever it is possible.
  2. Infrastructure in terms of Auto/taxi stand within walkable range, clear signs and directions helps the 2 entities.
  3. Parking Priority, lower parking rates for Auto/Taxi parking at TTMCs, Bus stations and all public parking spaces catering for interchange to BMTC/Metro.

Syed

thanks.

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thanks manjari. incredible job. i have some issues with the issues discussed. but later on that. first a heartfelt thank you for doing this.

BMTC Meet

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In my view the crux is this:

Lopsided bus connectivity (BMLTA Report)
Consolidation of Routes and Services
Get rid of redundancy in routes and services
Rationalize routes and services
Point to Point service philosophy?
Ex – Hebbal to K’mangala, Nelamangala to Jayanagar

do they have proper formulations for what they mean by these? Rationalize and Consolidate are very broad terms. And the devil is in the details. I am sort of catching up on developments in praja, but at one time, sri, naveen, murali et al had done some thinking on this. From what i gathered, you basically have to start with a set of models of potential solutions. then you have to have an estimate of actual demands. as sri once burnt into my mind, using current patterns is not sufficient because it is biased by exisiting patterns. and then from my personal knowledge i can tell you that figurinng out optimal solutions require some thinking and effort. and since these are real problems involving real people, implementing the even the computationally optimal solution is not enough. you will have to spend some more effort in taking the essence of it, and implementing it.

my question is, how much of an understanding did they show, beyond peddling non-sequitors like too much expectations from all quarters - like duh?!! what were they thinking? that is viable transit is what we are talking about. its not some tamashe.

TS, the presentation was from Praja side!

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TS, Nice to see your return. Welcome back.

The presentation was from Praja side. This was a total sum of all our discussions on BMTC topic. The real objective was to drive some hard points into BMTC officials to start thinking in terms of long term vision and plan. Only time will tell how far we have succeeded into it. Based on feedback from Praja team that attended the meeting, we have a long way to go. We should continue our engagement with BMTC and push for at least low hanging fruits like good helpful website, Punctuality, Shelters at proper locations and reasonably working customer service.

The route rationalization, last mile connectivity and long term plan are some difficult nuts to crack. But my optimism is that these can be done if mind and efforts are put in. It needs lot of external expert help. In that thinking, it would be nice if we could get hold of some experts in Public/Mass transportation planning domain. Now we need to go for Version 2.0 to show BMTC the real practical solutions they can make use of.

Give me a call. Lets discuss these in detail.

BMTC is a jig jaw puzzle - not so easy game

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I had earlier posted that there are N number of complaints by n number of people, but no concrete solution in this post http://praja.in/en/blog/naveen/2009/08/19/bus-transport-which-way-ahead#comment-16579.

First thing in hand is we need to do a data analysis on the plusses of the existing model. Any model will be having lots of plusses and lots of minusses. We need to carry forward the plusses and remove out the minusses. This cannot happen overnight.

We need a data analysis on the collection of each route (to give a rough idea, there may be more pass holders). We need a survey of very good routes of the existing setup which should never be disturbed. It will take away the ridership.  Say for example, 60A, the bus I have seen since I was a kid. It is always full and  a very successful route. These kind of routes should never be disturbed.

On the other hand we should analyze where are the minusses are. One thing is the redundancy in routes - how to over come this. One of the main thing that comes is all the buses goes to Majestic, Market and Shivajinagar and no buses connecting neighbouring localities.

Point to point connectivity - How to achieve this? What will be the TTMC Role in the future model and how the new routing can effectively use this TTMC.

Let us forget the classes of buses in these discussions. It will take our discussions and thoughts in different direction and it will be pure condemnation. Let us forget that buses do not stop in bus stop and conductor does not give back change, bmtc website aside in these directions.

Good work Manjari and team and some thoughts

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Manjari/Rithesh/Syed - good work. 

This is the sort of work that will take repeated hammerings.  BMTC's idea of good service, of what they believe are constraints, their internal dynamics are deep rooted.  We cannot expect that they will change to our view point overnight.

Coming to Vasanth's point

60A is a very good example of a good route - Jayanagar 9th block --> 4th block --> Gandhi Bazaar --> Chamrajpet --> RPC Layout --> Vijayanagar.   The traditional way would have been to add more buses on 18/39 and then on 61 just adding more and more clutter at Majestic.  This is probably the reason why 60A is successful.  Similarly 75, 137, 201, 1 (which is being re-introduced), 14, 41. 

To labour my point - let us say a lot of people live in Haunmanthanagar/BSK Stage I/Srinagar and go to Peenya (just an example).  Currently they can take 36/43/45E and then 252/258.  Let's say more and more people need to do this.  What does BMTC see - (a) that more people are going to Majestic on 36/43 and so we need to increase frequency on these routes.  And similarly more people are going to Peenya from KBS and hence we need to add more buses on 252/258. 

If they had done some basic research and asked people on 36/43 - "Where are you ultimately going" and say 20% said "Peenya every day", 30% had said "ITPL" and 25% said "Majestic" and the remaining 25% had all sorts of destinations.  Let us say 50,000 people use 36/43 everyday.  We could say with reasonable confidence that 10000 people go from Srinagar to Peenya everyday and another 15000 go to ITPL.  This data can enable better design and better customer service.   Given that 3,500,000 people travel on BMTC each day, the law of large numbers will ensure that patterns exist.  It is for us to mine them out and redesign. 

Many of our current routes were designed 30 or 35 years back.  There was no E-City/ITPL then.  Vidhana Soudha and Corporation, HAL, ITI, BEL, HMT used to be the sinks.  While they still remain sinks more such have emerged.

This is just for users of BMTC.  There exists a large body of non-users / potential demand which can also help plan routes.

Then the Metro Phase I and how we want to integrate BMTC with it.  If I live anywhere on the Metro route and want to go to say Majestic - what are the chances of taking a BMTC bus that will take 1 hr from Banashankari vs taking the Metro that will do it in 25 mins? 

Lots of work to be done on just routing.   Don't know if I just added more confusion than clarity :)

Srivathsa

 

 

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Involve conductors

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May be conductors can be involved in getting the information what yajaman is talking about? BMTC can arrive at a fairly good approximation of people's pattern of travel. The conductors, of course , wouldn't like this extra burden. COnductors need to ask the passenger going to shivajinagar, majestic and KR Market, what thier final destination is and record it. Probably BMTC can do this survey by other means if they really have the will to help the public.


Lukeworm BMTC response - Need for direct approach

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@ team praja - bmtc 

From the tenor of the posting, I could make out that BMTC officials have just made it look like they had just obliged a meeting and that is that.

Out of the 5 points posted as Minutes, 4 and 1/2 have been negatived and the only half point is that 'they have magnanimously agreed to direct the drivers to stop the buses at dsignated bus stops'. Great.

- Then what is the way out - Saama, Daana, Bedha, Dandha

- Saama   looks like it did not work

- next 'Daana' - we need to procrastinate and give them our IP thoughts so that it will attract them - provided such thoughts are taken in the right spirit. - and subject to an element of huge moneys to be spent through BMTC authorities so that they will be attractive...u know what I mean.

- We will come to Bedha and Dandha later.

- Vasanth Mysoremath

 

I told you so!

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Well, I told you so - check here

The only hope for BMTC reforming is through Dr Ashwin Mahesh. And, today's papers have reported that he has been appointed on honorary basis as 'urban research strategist' in the office of the advisor to the CM (urban affairs - Dr A Ravindra?) with immediate effect.

And, with BMTC clearly stating that 'feeder bus operations' are unviable for them, I am sure Dr AM can work towards getting good operators into that area now.
 

Muralidhar Rao

They seemed to listen, not sure how they are going to implement!

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Thanks to Manjari for such a great consolidation of all the inputs and presenting it to the BMTC, that too making sure to keep upto agenda in the limited time.

They have agreed to do a few things, but they really do need a few reforms. They have listed a few constraints that day, but it cannot be a excuse anymore and they have to do something about it. They have to reform the ways they operate and serve.

I have tried to emphasize in the meeting as what I suggested on about the driving-sense by the BMTC drivers, standing/stopping at designated bus-stops etc, but that doesn't seem to go thrugh well to them. They have to come out of all the excuses and do this grass-root-level change to make buses attractive to citizens.

At the sametime, Manjari on the behalf of PRAJA has emphasized on using buses by BMTC executives/officials as to set examples, but in my opinion, that shouldn't be the way. If it leads to less efficient work, one cannot use it. One thing is sure that if they do so, they will definitely feel to the heart what we all are complaining and could understand common man's problem.

They have to set examples in a good sense by making services better thereby making citizens using them instead of forcing people to use those inefficient services.

In US, there are dedicated lanes for car-pool vehicles encouraging people to share vehicles, while in China, they restrict people to use private vehicles on day basis.

We should go by the US way and not by the China way.

 

Deepak

Dandam Dasha Gunam Bhaveti ?

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@ Murali

U R right. The problem with these monopolistic officials is, there is no young blood that could grasp and respond to the needs of the present day IT laced world and fast track idealogies of finding solutions in a jiffy. 

- I would have used different language but for keeping a semblance of prajas guidelines, suffice it to say that the unless the present bunch of elderly 19th century mindset staff are changed, it will be difficult to see miracles happen.

- as you have said "I told you say.." there is a need for a big CHANGE.

-  the syndrome of  their rank and file ' labor less and earn enormous' should change within the precincts of the monolithic monopolitic transport system.   

- Look at the latest news item - source: Dec.Chronicle of todate:

title: Demolition Drive: KSRTC has decided not to consider any request of class III and IV employees (drivers/conductors and other staff?)  from one Corporation to another henceforth due to FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS faced by road transport corporations".    WHAT AN EXCUSE?  It is these people who are the bread earners and instead of keeping them happy by transfering them near their hometowns when transfers are sought, will KSRTC earn the goodwill of these employees who may keep on applying for leave to visit their kith and kin?

Murali Sir, is it always necessary for people to go through and through so and so for getting their rightful things?  No Sir, people deserve better understanding notwithstanding the thoughts of the great guys at the helm of affairs.  

There is a chinese proverb 'if you are looking down upon somebody, you cannot see eye to eye with him' . 

This is what is happening in the case of BMTC and its service are being doled out to people ...??

what I have posted here may be treated as preaching, rhetoric, ranting by some,  but time has come to call a spade a spade and use the double barrels. 

@ Deepak

/In US, there are dedicated lanes for car-pool vehicles encouraging people to share vehicles, while in China, they restrict people to use private vehicles on day basis.

We should go by the US way and not by the China way./

Your thoughts are very nice and highly implementable but have you seen Indians being so magnanimous in their thoughts of car pool with all their stratified super egos and halos floating on their heads?

I have had bitter experience in trying to 'thumbs up' to get a lift from some carwallah babus with a red beacons from Vidhana Soudha when I was soaked to my skin in the pouring rain and there were no sheltered bus stops in those days?  Most of those flashy cars were chaperoned with single occupants but  financed from the blood and sweat of people like me and you.

   Many of them do not even know who is residing in the opp aptt or neighborhood.   Forget it yaar - may be for some time, the Chinese model may work.

- vasanth mysoremath 

Murali, Can I say something?

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Murali Sir,

I applaud your optimism with AM. The only hope for BMTC reforming is through Dr Ashwin Mahesh. And, today's papers have reported that he has been appointed on honorary basis as 'urban research strategist' in the office of the advisor to the CM (urban affairs - Dr A Ravindra?) with immediate effect.

Going by Ho-Ho experience and our efforts to engage AM in conveying the commuter feedback, I still laud BMTC for atleast responding to the feedback. We may not be satisfied with the responses, but they have given their responses. And they are willing to continue the engagement. It is upon us now to take that engagement further and work it out in such a way that BMTC begins to deliver the needed service level. It is upon us to find innvoative ideas that could comvince BMTC to change and change for better.

My offline experience with AM is very disppointing. I have reasons for this disappointment.

  1. There was no eagerness to solicit citizen feedback
  2. No courtesy response even to those who provided the feedback
  3. I didn't see in any innovativness in HoHo service, except for the exclusive nature. No announcements, no effort on finding the ground realities, no opportunity for public participation. New route, new service is not the solution. Fixing the absent infrastructure and planning is the needed prescription.
  4. Sources tells that there was much needed jugalbandi to step in from outside and start something new.

Generally academicians are not found to be successfull executioners. There may be exceptions. I will reserve my verdict on AM until he has proved his mettle in govt corridors.

 

AM's plan few successful and few unsuccessful

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Well, any new implementation can be either successful or unsuccessful, but it should be taken in the right spirit and suggestions should be given to improve it rather than simply commenting it all over.

That's why wise people have said

"It is easier said than done....".

Sorry for preaching here.

I suggested many things to BMTC through email communication and I am very happy that they respond back immediately and some action is taken towards that. I suggested the 500N route, which was implmented very quickly. It was not as successful as 500K, main reason was for buses there were not enough passengers and for passengers there were not enough buses - It is a 2 way blockage.

AM's Big10 plan became successful, but Kendra Saarige concept although aplauded by traffic planners including many on the praja, was failure. Something on paper cannot be as successful as it is conceived to be.

There is no single formula in this world for bus routing or rationalization - And there is no single expert - It is all by trial and error basis - That is why I said a Jig Jaw Puzzle. Nothing can happen overnight.

I would clearly say to all praja members - Please stop posting complaints. If you have complaints - suggest the possible workaround along with it. Please post exact suggestions for improvements with  convincing facts to other members. Some posts are just to prove other post is wrong . Otherwise we will become another criticizing newspaper.

Last Mile Connectivity - A Thought

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After hearing from BMTC that mini buses are not economically viable for local routing, I just was considering shared autos or minivans run by private owners rates and loading governed by BMTC or some transportation authority.

Every auto / mini van should be confined to a certain area and should not go beyond that. Even organized operators like Zoom , Airport Express can enter this business. How IT company pickup and dropoff has provided lots of opportunities to travel companies, sameway this can do provide good business to Travel companies and benefitting  Prajas.

feedback?

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Syed - only one thing. Not writing this pro or anti AM, but wanted to say just some thing which is important.

If we pressureize people by expecting response for every thing which is asked from them on online forums like these, we would be 1) setting unrealistic expectation 2) ensuring that the person will not make attempts to engage more via these online methods.

These days, when most people want to express more than listen, since its so easy to "talk" via phone, sms, email blogs etc, engagement is more about listening. Getting back on each and everything said to him/her (at personal level) is a bit tight, esp in today's world.

Many who read these forums don't sign up and expose themselves because they are afraid of exactly this - getting crowded around with questions in whack-a-mole fashion the moment they surface.

Our efforts to engage with AM were successful. A decent number of us met him, and he would be game for another meeting if approached.

However, I would say let us not get into creating a BMTC vs AM "battle" by taking sides. Lets do our bit to make them work together. Lets talk to whoever is in a position to change things, and can listen. And from my experience (have met with AM, in large as well as smal groups), and have seen BMTC engage with groups here, all are in a mood to isten.

Anyway.

Blame BMTC only where necessary

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I suggested many things to BMTC through email communication and I am very happy that they respond back immediately and some action is taken towards that

My experience of engagement with BMTC has also been positive. I had suggested fewer routes on vayu-vajra services to BIA, & had received immediate response & some routes were later cut down, though not necessarily as I had suggested. Implementation has to be left to them as they need to weigh all options /patronisation levels, etc before taking action.

Another time, I had suggested consolidation of many routes & a cut down in the no. of bus terminuses for my area for optimization & I can see that things are moving on this front too - they are waiting for road-widening & a large bus terminus at vignannagar (the central location) is coming up.

 

I have tried to emphasize in the meeting as what I suggested on about the driving-sense by the BMTC drivers, standing/stopping at designated bus-stops etc, but that doesn't seem to go thrugh well to them. They have to come out of all the excuses and do this grass-root-level change to make buses attractive to citizens

I think this point cannot be dealt in isolation. Driving habits, road discipline & respect for public transport services is first essential by all traffic. It is common to find parked autos /taxis /vans /cars obstructing bus stop areas, forcing buses to stay out, which they do now as a matter of course, even when there are no obstructions since they try to save time for the next stop, where things may not be so "rosy".

Singling out BMTC buses for non-compliance becomes meaningless as they are only part of a larger problem in this urban mess. If all follow norms & BMTC buses remain the only exception, then their actions would become questionable. Otherwise, one cannot expect only them to follow whilst exempting all others.

The best solution would have been for the city to have looked seriously at BRT, but the car lobbies are too powerful, I guess.

 

considering shared autos or minivans run by private owners rates and loading governed by BMTC or some transportation authority

This may not be possible - auto fares are too high when compared to buses, even if shared. Minivans require high patronisation levels as investment will be high. The best, low-cost option is bicycles - & for this, we require bicycle infrastructure, which is non-existent.

Took the 1st step, now take the 2nd one!

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Vasanth,

You are bang on when you said,

"...I would clearly say to all praja members - Please stop posting complaints. If you have complaints - suggest the possible workaround along with it...."

So far those who are working with BMTC have taken the first step. For journey to continue Praja needs to take the 2nd step. In 1st step, the BMTC team have done wonderful job of giving a 36000 feet view to the BMTC. The next step would be to come down from 36000 feet and convert each complaint and suggestion into a problem-solution statement. Each statement would be a big project itself. There is definitely need for decomposing the problem areas into workable and achievable tasks. Hoping to spend some time on that in coming days.

 

SB, Lets give credit wherever it is due!

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@SB,

Lets talk to whoever is in a position to change things, and can listen. And from my experience (have met with AM, in large as well as smal groups), and have seen BMTC engage with groups here, all are in a mood to listen.

I am glad that you responded to my post. Let me clarify. I am not pitching AM vs BMTC. I was just responding to Murali's comment which was pitching AM vs BMTC.

I have no qualms if some of us wants to be more charitable towards one party, but certainly not at the expense of ridiculing the positive beginning at the other party even if it is small and in token. Per your standards, just having meeting itself is big step, then I would say responding to people's suggestions/complaints is much more achievement. Not only that some of the suggestions have been taken up for implementation. Even further they want to continue the engagement further. What else you want.

"..If we pressureize people by expecting response..."

SB, it nothing but natural to expect a response when somebody solicits the comments/suggestions. I am responding to a call for feedback. For to be effective, feedback is 2 way street. When I say  response, nobody expects that it is right away taken up and implemented. Response indicating that the feedback has been received and its possibility for action/no-action. This expectation of mine is unreasonable then I am not sure what is public consultation is all about.

Unless, whether it is AM, BMTC, BBMP do not institutionalize the public consultation and engagement process and techniques there is not much hope for betterment in civic arena. As you always say, it has to be open and no discrimination.

I will rest my case here.

 

@VKM I didn't mean that we

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@VKM

I didn't mean that we should give dedicated lanes or something like that. What I meant  by "going by the US ways" is that giving some encouragement/incentives/attraction to use the public transport services. For example, in case of BMTC, they should have clean and well designated bus-stops, where all the route information is published well maintained, buses should approach from the leftmost side and one by one towards the stop, people don't have to run towards boarding the bus instead bus just stand in front of shelter, and a gate opens and people get in etc etc. These kind of proper arrangement will obviously attract any kind of commuters be it poor or rich.

@Naveen:

I very much understand and agree to what you pointed out. But at the same time when we have been discussing about BMTC services, helping them make it better, we shouldn't give any excuse on that. BMTC is government entity, they can very well have a colloboration with Traffic police to make sure that every designated bus-stop, autos/taxis doesn't make any standing etc. You must be seeing BTRAC or no-parking boards generally near the bus-stops, now traffic police has to enforce it properly. When we are talking about BMTC, we should have a goal that let BMTC create example for other government entities to do better instead of pointing here and there.
----


I have a few suggestions also as how can we implement it, I am thinking of putting it up properly in a presentation format and share it to the praja members and see if we can take it to the BMTC.


As in the BMTC meeting, BMTC people told that they have some restrictions, staff limitations etc. We need to suggest them as to evaluate how are they managing their staff. I am very much sure that they must be having lesser staff at the ground level (drivers, conductors etc) and relatively bigger staff at the BABU level doing nothing the whole day. They should bring a few reforms in that way and hire a few more ground level staff and thereby making services better and also creating employment.

 

Point taken Syed

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Point taken, should give credit where it is due. Let us continue to work with BMTC using the channels we get.

Let us see if we can arrange another meet with Ashwin as well. Would be nice to arrange a review of routing reforms - whats implemented, whats planned, and lessons learned so far.

cheers,

SB

BMTC time tables.

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Hi

I was wondering if anyone knew where I could find BMTC time tables. There is an excellent site - BTIS.in -- which gives routes and other information of BMTC buses but does not seem to give the frequency of the buses. I am planning on taking route 401K to Kengeri from Yeshwantpur - but as of now am hesitant as I'm not sure how often the bus goes.

Is there a web page which has more information that just simply route numbers or names  ? 

Ramesh

 

Cycle may not be option for those do not know to ride

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@Naveen, cycle is a very good option for those who know riding. But, PT is primarily used in Bangalore by those who cannot ride any vehicle, like aged , ladies and those who do not have any vehicles.

For them, some motorized drop off arrangement is needed for the last mile connectivity.

Last Mile Assumptions

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PT is primarily used in Bangalore by those who cannot ride any vehicle, like aged , ladies and those who do not have any vehicles

Vasanth - I am not sure this is true. I would guess that most men could ride a bicycle. The difficulty would be for the aged, most women, handicapped people & small children. Auto or taxi stands are the best option.

Away from this, which PT system in the world caters to last mile issues the way we demand motorized solutions ?

See new thread started - "Bicycle's Role in Last Mile Connectivity - The China Example" here.

admirable patience!

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I was just responding to Murali's comment which was pitching AM vs BMTC. I have no qualms if some of us wants to be more charitable towards one party, but certainly not at the expense of ridiculing the positive beginning at the other party even if it is small and in token. Per your standards, just having meeting itself is big step, then I would say responding to people's suggestions/complaints is much more achievement. Not only that some of the suggestions have been taken up for implementation. Even further they want to continue the engagement further. What else you want.

Syedbhai - The question is how far have we come from the position obtaining at the time of our first meeting we had with Mr Tripathy, way back in May,'08, or the meeting in April this year?

Like I have been repeating ad nauseum, I'd be happy if somebody can as much as just get them to display the bus destination boards properly - forget route rationalisation, "yelli Iddira?", bilingual destination boards, courteous staff behaviour, safe driving practices, etc, etc. Check this

For all that, if you still want to term the present meeting a 'positive beginning', I really admire your patience. But, I am an old man who wishes to pass on a better legacy for the future generations within the span of my lifetime, and I see the only way out as stated here.
 

Muralidhar Rao

Agreed Naveen

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I agreen Naveen. All men can ride bicycles. They should opt out for that. Nowadays we also have electrical bicycles which also has got motor backup (not the electric scotters) which also occupies the same amount of space as normal bicycles.

But, what I am seeing in Bangalore is that whoever who can ride bicycles are riding motorbikes...and those who cannot afford or cannot ride any vehicle are only using PT systems and Autos.

I was particular about this category of people including my Mother, my aunts, who does not know any driving and are fully dependent on BMTC. (I had a sercastic comment on this here http://praja.in/en/blog/murali772/2007/12/12/better-bussing-green-bangalore#comment-1371).

But this is what I see, most women of middle, lower middle class and poor people are fully dependent on BMTC - no other go. If you happen to goto Sahakar Nagar, there is shared auto from Bus Stand on the Kodigehalli Gate on the new Airport Road. I used to visit there regularly 1 year back. For 5 rupees they were dropping to any part of Sahakar Nagar. I saw lots of women, especially 40+ , utilizing this service.

5 rupees is high, but it was inevitable for many. Meter will come to only minimum if we go any part of Sahakarnagar from the bus stand, but auto guys were putting 4 people and making 20. Some sort of an organized shared auto for these section of people I was thinking of.

Men like me should always use bicycle for last mile connectivity since it comes for free, good for health (no need for inhouse expensive cycle exercising running in AC). Parking charges will be negligible at 1 rupee probably. Cities like coppenhagen have become world no 1 greener city by using bicycles.

Organized autos - May not work

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Some sort of an organized shared auto for these section of people I was thinking of

I don't think it should be BMTC's responsibility for providing such organized shared auto because a whole lot of other issues will crop up - autos or taxis will promise the moon, collect money with the promise of providing services at bus stops & then do what they please !

The sahakarnagar example may be replicated elsewhere based on demand & all on it's own. Autos are available as they are at most bus-stops. If two or more people wish to share & use them, fine - nobody objects to this.

The last 500mtr

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 Unfortunately I dont think Sahakarnagar should be last mile from Bellary road. There should bus services connecting interior areas of all these nagars so people can find a bus stop within 500mtrs of any point. after that it can be cycle or walk (only half a km max). Wasnt this stated by somebody in BMTC somtime last year?

LAST 500Mtrs

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The professed policy of BMTC is to have buses upto 500Mtrs of any residential area.

When asked about this in the recent meeting they said it was not found viable.

They are following the 'dog in the manger' policy.

Only some one above BMTC , i.e. the Govt. should decide and deploy private operators (as in Tamilnadu) in the interest of the commuting public.

K.V.Pathy

The Last Mile

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The professed policy of BMTC is to have buses upto 500Mtrs of any residential area.

When asked about this in the recent meeting they said it was not found viable.

When I had suggested operation of mini-buses on narrow streets to access interior areas that are difficult to access with larger buses, they had stated that they would rather operate the larger buses than mini-buses as maintenance costs were higher & it was difficult to maintain mini-buses since they were not reliable - thus, operation of mini-buses was unviable.

I found this hard to accept as many mini-buses were in operation satisfactorily (such as Swaraj Mazda & Tata Starbus) - being operated by several private companies for their staff.

Narrow roads are a reality in many areas, no doubt, but BMTC has to find a way out of this - the only answer is to provide services with mini-buses where such narrow roads allow this.

This aside, there are many residential areas that are several kilometers across with row upon row of houses. Examples would be Jayanagar, JP Nagar, BSK, BTM or HSR - these residential areas (with their many blocks /stages /phases /sectors, etc.) are so large that to get to within 500m of each house would require several circuitous routes.

In such cases, services to nodal points (such as 4th block, 9th block, etc. as in Jayanagar) with stops en-route would be the only likely solution as operating many circuitous routes would reduce the frequency on individual circuits & will also make it unviable.

There will thus be a last mile component for most - in such cases, private transport (such as autos, bicycles, etc) would have to be resorted to, & this is best left to individuals as destinations, timings & preferences are likely to vary considerably.

I beleive that bicycles are a good option. China is an example - they have promoted this very successfully since any form of public transport will never be able to satisfy every individual's needs. It can only be for the collective good for the community as a whole.

Reach not viable?

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 When asked about this in the recent meeting they said it was not found viable.

But less populous countries with faaaar less populations run services where such reach is possible. WIth our kind of population it should be very much feasible. Leave it to private operators they will get the people on the bus.

Example, vast streches between New BEL and Bellary road are reliant on buses running on Rajagopal road which can be more than a kilometer for most areas. BMTC could have a single bus(mini bus will do) just running thru these localities and connecting multiple stops on new BEL road, Rajagopal road and Bellary road. Across most main roads inside. Just one bus and the frequency can be 30 mins to make the entire trip and back on a route which ensures coverage. It will be hop on hop off kind. So by extrapolation each residential area of some logicaly defined size needs one such bus staying within the area but connecting to trunk route stops or metro lines. Out of the 5000 buses planned on bangalore roads put just 10% on these type of services, ridership will go up. This is the last mile.

Utilization of mini-buses to cover inner parts

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each residential area of some logicaly defined size needs one such bus staying within the area but connecting to trunk route stops or metro lines.

I also think mini-buses are the answer for connecting areas that are away from main thoroughfares. Such services if organized, will certainly help commuters a great deal & improve ridership levels of BMTC.

I have been suggesting this to BMTC too. One such suggestion was for the area close to my home - details are on this thread.

I noticed that a new, larger bus station is now coming up at the central location (Vignannagar). The idea may be to do away with the scattered terminues with infrequent services (viz. Jagdishnagar, Malleshpalya, Basavanagar & LBS nagar) & re-route buses originating from Vignannagar to pass through these points more frequently. Some road-widening is also underway - I guess this is to take in larger buses & in higher numbers.

A Mini-bus is also in operation in the area (one of the 400 series) & is improving connectivity, though frequency is poor.

Feeder buses

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"5.)Feeder minibuses: they had experimented it in 2002-2003, they had bought 140 minibuses but they require too much money for maintenance. they are not robust and also staff cost is higher than vehicle."

Couple of points on this

a)Since the experiment failed in 2002-2003,  it does not mean it is going to fail again in 2009. Mini buses changed a lot since then. Now you get mini buses, which are scaled down versions of big buses and comes in varying seating capacity 24/30/35 etc. Also BMTC should choose mini bus vendors (read Tata, AL) who also supply big buses, so that some parts can be shared and maintenaned by same staff. You could see lot of private bus operators successfully run mini buses in all parts of Kerala as route buses. Even KerRTC successfully runs mini buses.

The big mistake BMTC made in 2002-2003 was going for an entirely different vendor for their mini buses. These mini bus body was not intended to be used as route buses.

b) Staff cost is higher than vehicle.

Agree, then you have to have innovative ways to reduce the staff cost.  I dont think you need a conductor for each bus, Couple of options can be considered

i) Since the mini buses are intended for last mile connectivity, the same fare can be charged for all routes.

ii) I have seen in US,  You could buy tickets in advance as a book of 30 or 50 from grocery store/ticketing booths at bus stops and deposit one ticket each time trip.

iii) Assign conductors to the bus stops, instead of each bus. Those who want to travel in the bus, buy the ticket from the conductor stationed at the bus stop. I have seen this working with MSRTC Bombay-Pune buses. Those buses dont have conductors, only drivers. But if you board from Chembur, you could buy ticket from the conductor who stationed  there.

iv) Since it is last mile connectivity, it could be even made free.

One last point i would like to make is, I will not board a bus for its luxury (read volvo), but it should be convenient for me.  If i can reach my office from my home, by car in 15 minutes, but it takes 1 hour (including time to reach the bus stop from home, travel time and time to walk from the bus stop to my office) to reach by Volvo, i wont use it.  For a 15 minute travel i dont need the luxury of a Volvo, but i need less crowded bus at more frequency. 

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