Skip to Content

An outline for a most equitable public bus transport model

up
12 users have liked.
Bus
There had been estimates from long that the city needed far more buses than the BMTC was operating, and it was also known that the need was being partially met by the private operators. But, nobody knew that between the private operators and the schools, there were over 6 times the numbers operated by BMTC. Kudos to Citizen Matters for bringing out these numbers - check here.
 
So, all in all, there are close to 50,000 buses on the city roads, apart from the 'multi-coloured buses'(mostly TamilNadu registered), and the inter-city operations. But, the fact of the matter is that, constrained as the private operators are because of being licenced under the most restrictive Contract Carriage Act (check here), their fleet is totally under-utilised.  
 
The reality however is also that if the entire lot of 50K buses is deployed intelligently, a large part of the public transport needs of the city can very easily be met. Now, most certainly, a totally government-owned and thereby incapacitated BMTC can't do it, and, being a public utility area, you can't possibly leave it totally to the private sector either. In such a scenario, why not combine the best of both the worlds, and have a most equitable PPP model, more or less on the lines of the most successful Delhi power supply set-up (check here), which even an Arvind Kejriwal seems to have embraced? Quite like in the Delhi power supply model, you can have three or four (or even more) reputed players, covering the whole of the city, while also catering to the diffrenent types of needs, all under the watchful eye of the UMTA (preferably reporting to a directly-elected Mayor, as envisaged in the B S Patil Committee report), who besides decides the fare structure, providing for a nominal 10% "return on equity".
 
With improved efficiency, and UMTA in the picture in arriving at decisions, the fare structure can be much lower than that of BMTC's, currently. If the government wants to afford further subsidies to select sections of the population, they can do so through DBT (as in the case of domestic gas supplies), rather than burdening the operator.
 
If such a scheme is put in place, most present car and two-wheeler users will readily switch to public transport, at least for their work-day commute, and if simultaneously congestion and parking charges are introduced (resistance to which will be much lower now), the travel can become faster too.
 
The bus, being the most versatile of all public transport modes, will this way account for a huge share of the 'trips' made in a city. But, of course, when the city expands to the extent Bengaluru has done, you will need the METRO too, which is easily the best option for long intra-city travel.
 
PS: The above was originally posted here. Deciding that it needs more specific attention, I have opened this new blog. Hope it will gather more interest now.
 
Muralidhar Rao

Praja.in comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!



about seo | blog