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Cooperative Transport

I am proposing something in between public transport and car pooling - we can call it "Cooperative transport".

Daily commuters along a fixed corridor and fixed timings can come together to hire a vehicle from BMTC or any private vehicle provider. The elected 'leader' can manage all coordination activities.

Advantages: One does not have to reply on existing routes, no transfers needed, garanteed seating place, guaranteed pickup/drop, no need to drive in chaotic traffic, cheaper travel (all individual benefits) and finally less vehicles on the road (social benefit).

People are already doing this in bits and pieces. But what I am proposing is a "bangalore level" systrem in place for groups to come together for such a travel and coordinate.

The system needs to have a website where people can provide there needs and contact others with similar needs. Rates with service provides can be pre-negotiated. The system will minimize work of these group leaders by providing efficient means to collect money, sign contracts with trasport providers and support emergency / unforeseen situations (group SMS about delayed or failed vehicle, requecing backup pickup etc.)

I do not think this will need a license and individuals are free to sign contracts with service providers. Will BMTC or other private service providers that support corporate transport for call centers etc be ready to provide this Bangalore wide infrastructure?

Will it be a good business for My Murali's company?

Sanjay Chitnis


tsubba's picture

co-operative transport

such services are only possible if:
1) sources are concentrated around a point or close to a relatively non circuitous path.
2) destinations are concentrated around a single point or along a relatively non circuitous path (industries in EC and along Hosur rd for example)

work and education are the only activities where such coagulation is exists to some extent and therefore some amount of 'bussing' is possible.
business trips (eg. matching the schedules of a travelling salesman), family outing, kids on a beat etc etc are fairly distributed activities and are difficult to put a handle on through mass carriers,unless, ofcourse, if these 'play' zones are fairly coagulated for example the dand (cant) area and the pete area etc.

i will try to post some numbers that i am still trying to understand, meanwhile, i urge you to take a look at statistics about existing traffic and travel characteristics and independently try to figure out how much of the work and education trips are handled by buses.
sanchitnis's picture

Re: Cooperative transport

Thanks Naveen. I agree that this will only cover work and education trips and not genral public transport needs.

I could not access the document you mentioned as rapidshare is giving 'quota exhausted' error. I will try later. E

ven if percentage-wise the amount of such travel is less, I think the numbers are still significant for Bangalore and this will have its own niche customers - Parents may prefer this service for children rather than regular public transport - however efficient it is. Similarly, corporate staff may prefer this due to additional advantage of socializing, work on the go etc. SO this will be a better options than each school or a company or even a Tech Park like Bagmane Techpark running their private services.

So I still believe this is worth looking into.


narayan82's picture

Pvt player

Good Idea as a business model for a private player. It could be as simple as a website where you enter your drop off point and destination, and routes are then formed. It need not be for a specific company or a specific group it could just be a corporat pickup and drop service. This is a bit like car pooling. But the biggest area of concern is the flexibility of timing. You see, I personally find it hard to guarantee a time of returning home, sometimes its wokr, sometimes a movie, sometimes laziness and the occasional dinner plans. No private player will be able to have multiple trips to suit your timing, this is where public transport has the edge.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
sanchitnis's picture

Re: Pvt player

Thanks Narayan.

As the vehicle can be as small as an SUV, there is lot of potential for a private player to create infrastructure to promote such cooperative daily travel.

Return trip is a problem. However, the way Bagmane Techpark service (working with BMTC) has solved this is to have two return trips spaced by 1.5 hours. Sometimes having a fixed return time is better for work-life balance. Also, Wifi connectivity can be provided in the vehicle (like as promised by the airlift service) for people to finish off that last piece of must-do-today work.

Yes it is an extension of car pooling as I mentioned in my original post.

Though such services focus mainly work and education related travel, it will have good impact on reducing peak hour traffic.

It is also a good socializing/clubbing environment - like the Mumbai daily local commuters playing cards or singing Bhajans :-) Certainly a better option than driving for 1 hour every day in heavy traffic.

Public tranport is certainly a better option provided it gives the same level of reliability and comfort. We are in chicken and egg situation where there is not enough demand for volvo/suvarna buses which constrains the frequency.



murali772's picture

why compromise, why not demand the best option?

Hi Sanjay

These kinds of options you'll concede are not quite the best, and are having to be looked at only because somehow it has come to be accepted that regular bus services are a government monopoly area. Now, that's what needs to be challenged.

Until the time of the emergency, all cities and states in the country had fairly decent public bus transport services, going by those time's standards. And, you could very well have depended on the ingenuity of the Indian entreprenueral mind to come up with timely solutions to progressively emerging challenges, very much as has happened in other areas. The government has no business to continue to play 'the dog in the manger' role, particularly in this vital infrastructure area, and deny the public the best of options.

Public bus transport services, besides, are very much an opportunity area. It is a fallacy that there's no money in it. Also, being amongst the most vital infrastructural areas, the government needs to remove whatever artificialities that are there presently to facilitate entry of atleast the 'karma capitalists', like TATAs, to begin with. It can perhaps be opened out further later.

The traditional Congress mindset wouldn't easily allow for it. So, it required a Mayawati to move along those lines. One only hopes she engages the right kind of professionals to take it along the right path, and make a model of it for the other states.

Well, we now have a very approachable, young, and apparently open-minded Mr Ashok as the new transport minister. It could very well be the task before the Praja working group to engage with him to do one better than Mayawati.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
sanchitnis's picture

Re: why compromise, why not demand the best option?

Hello Murali Sir,

I am totally with you that Private sectors can do wonders for public transport. In airline industry, after the private players came in, the whole field was transformed.

BMTC IMHO has got a good management for the last few years and they indeed have excellent innovations. However, I think it is very people dependent and we do not know if the same is sustainable as a system. There are of course risks in bringing in private players that need to be managed by proper control by the government.

Regarding Cooperative transport, I think it is a niche segment that has its own purpose in addition to public transport. Point to point pickup and drop by the shortest route with guarateed seating will any day be required by a specific segment. However, it can be considered as a specific service (special case) provided by a public transport company. 

Best regards,

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