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Transport Challenged People of Bangalore

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Urban DevelopmentPedestrian InfrastructurePublic Transport
originally posted at the cityfix_

Krishnappa is a security guard for a multinational software firm in Bangalore who, for the past thirty years, has walked and cycled to work. For Krishnappa, the trip, which often took around 15 to 30 minutes, was one of life’s small pleasures as he made his way along Bangalore’s tree-shaded streets, often meeting friends and acquaintances, discussing politics and family matters, before continuing on his way. However, in recent years he has been unable to walk or cycle to work. And it’s not because of age or injury.

All pictures by Sudhir G.
When asked about his transport woes, he blames the government. The increase in land prices, lack of cycle tracks, footpaths, poor public transportation, and the risk of being struck by a motorized vehicle have forced him to drive to work. He now spends nearly 30% of his salary on his monthly commute.

Krishnappa is not alone. Rapidly growing Bangalore city has generated a new human species aptly named “Transport Challenged People.” The common trait of these people is that they are forced to become captive to a mode of transport just because they don’t have an accessible alternative. Their other characteristic is that they pay a price for traveling that they do not consider fair or just, but because they have no other option, they continue to pay it.

Bangalore has seen a spiral of economic activity and urban growth, with the developed area of the city increasing from roughly 175 square kilometers in 1971 to more than 560 in 2006. The government, in order to decongest the city center, restricted the Floor- Space-Index (FSI) – that’s a technical term for building density - in the core and liberated the FSI along the outer peripheries. The restriction in FSI in the city core caused land value here to skyrocket, driving out the lower class to the more affordable peripheries. (There’s a photo essay after the jump)

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That is why before i

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That is why before i emphasised the need for "Multi Modal Transport" in order to cater to the different needs of different people. Middle class people like Krishnappa in the story above could take the commuter rail (if implemented), say from middle class localities like the recently proposed Kempe Gowda Layout in Kengeri to Electronics City paying about Rs. 500 per month.

At that cost - it would work out for the railways to provide a daily train service within important points in the city network.

Those who work above the value chain, could take the Metro which costs a bit more and thereby eliminate the need and presence of cars, cabs, vans, two-wheelers et al, during peak hours.

tsubba's picture

TCP-OB protocol for human transport

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congratulations sudhir on a well written article - very accessible. perhaps these collection of articles are worth atleast a couple of solid journal papers. yours is the first paper i have read that talks about the cost of transportation in bangalore as a significant fraction of household income. that is a startling statistic that puts a lot of things into perspective. for one, it brings the only public transport we have- BMTC in direct focus. one on side BMTC is showing +ve balances for the past few years primarily due to over subscription and perhaps due the fact it has one of the highest(even if rationalized) rates any where in india. now it is significant that bmtc is self sufficient, but when it costs so much to its primary customer base, as you have pointed out, one wonders if we have the cart before the bull. it will useful if you an provide some references about how much it costs in some of the better managed cities. my empirical evidence is it costs a similar fraction in all places where the stress is on balancing books. but as you said, the impact of that fraction on TCP is perhaps more critical than the rest of the population. praja member murali has been tirelessly evangelizing some reforms in bus transport. please check him out. he is prolific and has written a number of commentaries but his point article about bus service reforms is here. and then we have these periodic slum clearance & rehabilitation drives. understandable, but it also comes with the history of ejipura ews houses. people in those houses are prolly a slight notch above the slum dwellers, but seeing the same problem recur year after year and govt's apathy to finding a solution to the problem, one gets an impression that they are not interested in solving the problem but in eliminating the "problem". also, how do you propose to tackle the issue of sprawl? how do you propose that the city move from the 40x60 culture to a more respectable density? and how do you balance the density with energy? just talking about FSI gets a lot of people drooling about high rises. but where is the energy to drive all those elevators, pull all that water, drain all that sewage. also can we increase the density without upgrading the roads for example, not to mention the pipes? i have suspicion pune started off well as far as density went. 3-4 story residential buildings. no lifts. bigger plots with nice sized flats. it will be great if you can connect all this with what bangalore is planning to do (CTTP, CDP etc). thanks. comment guidelines

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