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CCTF Report 6. Key Recommendations

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6. KEY RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE (IMPLEMENTABLE BY BMTC)
6.1 Improved Connectivity
The Task Force is unanimous that improved connectivity is a necessity for a comfortable journey for an individual. This not only involves bus connectivity but also multi-modal connectivity and steps must be taken in that direction to streamline the operations of buses, trains and the proposed metro railway. While the BMTC has begun to selectively introduce buses on a direction-oriented basis, this needs to be promoted and encouraged so that the need to travel to the centre of the city is reduced. In some ways, it will involve the creation of a multiple hub and spoke model with hubs on the periphery of the city with feeder services linking the hubs and services operating between these hubs being the ‘grid services’ or the metro bus services.

It must be emphasised that the BMTC should use an external benchmark to gauge its progress on the providing improved connectivity. We recommend that the BMTC set a target of capturing 60% of all journeys by 2006 up from 50% currently. This would require increasing ridership and capacity by approximately 15% every year (compared to 10% currently).

A separate discussion on the grid system is already covered in section 5. However, connectivity with all modes of transport needs to be encouraged with the BMTC providing last mile service to all road users.

6.2 Recommendations for people with special Needs

6.2.1 Senior Citizens

  1. BMTC intends to provide concessional passes of 50% discounted fare between 11am to 5pm (a period of six hours). We recommend that the time restriction be removed, with the discount being extended to daily, weekly and monthly passes in addition to daily tickets.
  2. In buses two seats are to be earmarked for senior citizens, but this is not done yet in some buses. Implementing this in the buses, needs education and training of BMTC staff and commuter’s co-operation.
  3. Most drivers keep the buses moving while the commuters are alighting and boarding the buses. This habit has proved very dangerous for women, children and especially, senior citizens. The drivers should be trained and strictly instructed to stop the buses completely at the stops and move only after the commuters are safely inside the bus.

6.2.2 Children

Students are among the worst hit by overcrowding in public transport as they usually carry with them large school bags which are not manoeuvrable. The large amount of money that parents are willing to pay in order to ensure that their child goes to school even if it is an a cramped auto is an indication of the opportunity that exists to provide an efficient public transport system.
  1. We recommend that the needs of students be identified through consultations with schools and exclusive ‘School Special’ trips during pre and post-school hours, i.e., between 7 to 9 am and 3 to 5 pm. It is also recommended that a campaign to change timings in school be conducted to ‘spread the peak hour’ and increase the carrying capacity of the roads.
  2. It is also suggested these school special trips can run on a regular revenue model of monthly commuter passes. Objective of this scheme is to attract those parents who send their children in Auto-rickshaws, personal vehicles and to ensure highest safety with easing congestion near school zones. Student concessional passes would continued to be allowed in regular buses but these school special buses exclusively run for student on monthly passes.
  3. Options of starting buses inside schools, which have larger compounds need to be explored like starting of buses from Baldwins Boys High School. (or like the GKVK campus of the University of Agricultural Sciences).

6.2.3 Physically Disabled
The current design of buses and bus stops together with the non systematic stoppage of buses on roads make it difficult for this category of people to use buses even if at off-peak hours when the load is lower. In addition to the recommendations above (for both children and elders), it is important to make changes to the design of buses itself that make it easier for such users to use these buses. Lower floors and better-designed bus stops will be essential as well as sound indicator mechanism for those with visual disability to enter and exit the buses.

6.3 Safety

The importance of safety cannot be over-emphasised in the present context as road accidents place considerable costs in terms of serious injury, productivity losses and lives lost. In addition, a safer road environment has been documented to create lower stress levels and reduce road rage, which is increasingly becoming a problem with higher levels of congestion.

While the role of other stakeholders is covered separately, there is a greater role that the BMTC can play in order to improve road safety both for itself and for other road users. The record of the BMTC is certainly not a bad one but there are areas for significant improvement. Appendix A gives a break up of the total number of cases booked under the Motor Vehicles Act for the year 2003 (up to the month of May). If this is projected into a twelve-month scenario, the results do merit some concern. If other recommendations of this Task Force are followed, a majority of the cases can be handled as Foot Board travel accounts from nearly two thirds of the total number of cases booked against the BMTC. Areas of concern include jumping of red signals, reckless driving and cutting the yellow line. This Task Force believes that the only way to further reduce the number of cases booked against is by a sustained campaign to train all BMTC drivers in defensive driving.

Education and constant reinforcement of the message that safety is first is crucial to ensure that there is a continuous improvement in the record of the BMTC. The Task Force also notes that the accident rate of the BMTC at 0.22 per lakh km is one of the lowest in the country. However it is important not to be complacent but continuously improve.


6.4 Differentiation of Bus Travel

The recent modifications that have been made to existing buses have helped to create a new look bus be continued with the BMTC pioneering the move to improve public transport and the comfort of the travelling public. In order to increase the percentage of the commuting public using the BMTC buses, it is necessary that differentiation of buses be created much like how the Pushpak buses originally helped to create a niche market (which has since been eroded for various reasons).

However, the differentiation should not be so complex or based on a route-based system with little or no real choice on a given rule. The differentiated buses should act like competition with the existing services in order to enhance the comfort of the travelling public. Two classes of travel are suggested. The first would be the introduction of Express buses (and designated as such). The second would be the gradual and widespread introduction of air-conditioned buses on certain key routes with revenue generating potential. For people to make the switch to start using buses in preference to their own private modes of transport, it is necessary to create a significantly better travelling experience to entice those users of their private vehicles to start using the bus service. Air conditioned buses and Express buses might be a step in that direction. Ideally, these buses should be differentiated from the other buses through a different chassis/ lower floors or other visible difference which can be their unique selling point. Smaller buses can also be introduced in order to emphasise the difference.


6.5 Other Recommendations

6.5.1 Bus Design
Members inside PE2100 bus to inspect passenger friendly design

  1. Vehicle chassis being used in Buses are derived out of Truck chassis, which are not comfortable for city transport. Hence task force recommends that BMTC should convert all the chassis into low or semi-low chassis, with Euro II engines.
  2. At the bus stations/stops, the entry door should be in level with the Bus floor. Commuter should be able to walk into the bus. This is very helpful in Indian conditions, wherein women wearing saris is common. This measure is immense beneficial to physically challenged persons, kids and senior citizens.
  3. Bus Floor should be even without any undulations
  4. Driver’s seat should be barricaded as to not allow any commuter to stand behind / near him.
  5. Ceiling horizontal grip rod should not be very high as well as the hand belts should be made immovable
  6. Standing and sitting space should never over loaded. Task force believes that implementation of Grid scheme, which ensures high frequency of buses will limit over loading.
  7. Stipulated standard leg space and elbow space should be maintained between seats.
  8. Information / Communication
  1. Inside space wherever possible in the buses should be utilised to communicate messages to commuter, specially seeking co-operation from them, to avail tickets, to give appropriate exchange and some socially relevant messages. Un-used space could be utilised for commercial advertisement.
  2. It is recommended to display ‘intimate us in case of rash driving’ signage, behind the Bus. This would help minimising rash driving by drivers, for the fear of being complained to authorities. Now-a-days this has been standard practice in reputed institutional buses, to enhance road and commuters safety.
  3. Electronic display of Route maps inside the buses with indication of present stop coupled with audio really help commuter
  1. Destination boards
  1. Should be distinct, broad and legible even from a distance.
  2. Display destination boards at all sides of the Bus, front, rear, right side and left side (entry) as well.
  3. LCD destination boards, which are clearly visible even during day, should be tried. This would help to add cosmetic value, to attract commuters and for easy handling from staff.
  1. Bus Doors
  1. To facilitate better crowd control inside the bus it’s recommended to follow ‘rear entry and front exit’ scheme, which is in practice in all cities in country. This scheme would automatically be implemented with other reforms like reserving left side seating for women and senior citizens and right seating for men, implementing Q-system and vending tickets in bus stops/stations.
  2. Pneumatic shutters/doors are good safety measures. This should be implemented in all buses and ensure that buses should not move unless the shutters are closed. Technological improvement should be made to facilitate ‘stop n open– close n move’ system and reduce failures.

6.5.2 At Bus stops/stations/main stations

  1. The time is ripened enough to look at Decentralised Bus Terminal concept.
  1. In bus stations such as BTM Layout, Domlur, Banashankari, etc., ‘Park and Ride’ scheme should be built and implemented to discourage personal transport for longer distances.
  2. These terminals help commuters to Park their personal vehicles, take grid or trunk routes and come back and drive back home.
  3. These terminals should house commercial shops, which not only help commuter to shop and ride back home, but also ensures financial viability of building.
  1. It is recommended to implement ground booking of tickets either through manual or through ticket vending machines. This will help burden on conductor and help to improve revenue.
  2. Automatic Ticket vending machines should be tried out first in AC buses. Based on the response, this can be extended to regular or Janapriyavahini Buses.
  3. Monitoring and ticket checks need to be conducted in the initial period of implementation, but later once commuters get used to system, it would be beneficial to both Corporation and commuters.
  4. Ban parking of any vehicles around 100 feet of bus stop either way, with the help of Police. Auto-rickshaws tend to occupy bus stops creating nuisance not allowing buses to park safely.
  5. Information, Education and Communication to commuter
  6. Information to public is the most neglected aspect of public transport management. IT initiatives such as Pubic Information Systems (PIS) can be implemented in Bus stops and stations. BMTC already implementing GPS based vehicle-tracking system, in which the real time location of buses/arrivals at stops along the route can be communicated through Real Time Passenger Information systems (RTPIS) to waiting commuters, through LCD panels. This would specially help at intersection points once Grid scheme is in place.
  7. At Majestic bus station increase the number of help desks.
  8. Setting up Information Kiosks at Majestic and major bus stands such as Domlur, BTM layout, Vijayanagar, Jayanagar, etc., would help commuters for quick and easy information accessibility.
  9. Massive LED/LCD panels set up in major stations with rolling information boost Public Relations with commuters.
  10. Route maps displayed on Bus station/stops help commuters
  11. A Bus Information guide to be made available with routes, stages, fares, time table and such commuter friendly information for a nominal cost and updated regularly.
  12. Re-introducing Queue system at bus stop and station is imminent. This can be implemented with the help of police and respective area depot managers.

6.5.3 On Road

  1. Task force recommends trying out pilot dedicated lane for Public transport. This would prioritise the BMTC buses, helps adhere to scheduled time and popularised the public transport mode. A pilot project should be implemented in one route wherever feasible, under BATF with co-operation from Police and BMP. Based on the results / opinion, decision could be made to expand it or not.
  2. Organised more Bus bays wherever possible in cooperation with BMP.
  3. On many roads Bus stops face each other on either side of road. This needs Bus stops re-arrangement by creating a minimum space of 100 feet between two stops on either side of road.
  4. Help identify and create more Bus shelters with BMP. Encourage current design, which is great and self-sustaining model.
  5. Task force also recommends providing Refuges (Pauses) in the centre of broad roads with or without median for pedestrian safety.
  6. Initiation of Transport Wardens (similar to Traffic Wardens / Shuchi Mitra’s) is a welcome measure. These honorary Transport Wardens help BMTC in educating commuters, drivers and other ancillary assistance.

It is also suggested that route maps be installed in every bus and every bus stop. In the bus, the route map could be that of the bus itself. In the bus stop, it could be for all the buses coming to that stop in addition to the total grid map of the city. This measure is essential for the grid route concept to succeed.

Every route must be published in a easy to use manner for all citizens. In the long run, it is suggested that the BMTC consider heavy investments in information technology to ensure that information is available to commuters easily.

6.5.4 Passenger monthly Bus passes
Validity of Identity card for the monthly pass holders should increased from present 1 year to a minimum of 5 years.

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Appendix A: KMV Act cases booked


A. KMV Act – cases booked
Number of Motor Vehicles Act Cases Booked for the year 2003 (upto 31/ 05/03) with projections if same trend continues.
    

Up to
May 03
Projected
for 03

Up to
May 03
Projected
for 03
Foot Board Travel 2187 5249 Without D L 14 34
Wrong Parking 383 919 HTV prohibited 10 24
Others 289 694 Emmi Black smoke 6 14
Jumping Tr Signal 229 550 Def Headlight 6 14
G in ladies seat 190 456 Drunken Driving 5 12
Reckless Driving 179 430 Shrill horn 5 12
Cut Yellow line 97 233 Over Speeding 1 2
No Entry 68 163 Def Ref No plate
1
2
Not propdocuments 66 158 Bald Tyres
1
2
Without Uniform 20 48 Total
3757
9017

Projected figure is arrived at by dividing actuals up to May 03 by five to obtain a monthly number and then multiplying that figure by 12  

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