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Does Bengaluru Need Faster Transport Services?

Bengaluru, formerly Bangalore, is a world famous IT hub located in South India. There are smart people living there with plenty of brains. But unfortunately their productivity is being marred by slow traffic.

Traffic Jams are plenty and parking vehicles on main roads seems to be the norm. Only God knows how many smart ideas have tasted early death due to torture caused by being stuck into a jam.

Smart has been the buzz word in India, and there are many smart city projects going on. But the city known to produce smart applications has definitely failed to come up with smart solutions to traffic problems.

Here is the experience of famous British author Jeffrey Archer which he shared while launching his new book last year:  "A woman walking on the pavement overtook my car eight times and my car overtook her eight times. Two more times and we would have been engaged."

Well, a picture says thousand words. Have a look at this picture of city's famous R Puram flyover, how much traffic is there (and this is after the commuters using Google Map to find the fastest route).

Bengaluru traffic jam
R Puram Bengaluru flyover overloaded with Trafiic

In a fast moving world slowness can be a real problem. Although, I know that being slow helps one to cool down and gather thoughts, resulting in relaxation and increased productivity, but we are talking here of times when one really can't do without remaining at a pace.

Thing is that, as I said before, bengaluru is a centre of Information Technology in India. People are used to do tasks at a click of a button. If this was a village in rural India, it wouldn't have been a no problem. But here. knowing how many things one could have done if not gotten stuck in to a traffic jam can cause enormous frustration and brain fades.

Every one knows its just waste of time caused by inefficient public transportation system. Some of the locals can also take the blame for parking vehicles where they should not. But they have their own arguments, like lack of space. The property rates are actually very high here.

As per study conducted by Pawan Mulukutla, who works for a non profit world organisation, the traffic in Bengaluru moved at an average speed of 35km an hour in 2005. Now the speed has come down to mere 5 km an hour. Plus the waiting times at traffic stops have increased to 5 minutes which was 2 minutes earlier on.

Mind you, all this is despite bengaluru having second longest operational Metro system, after delhi metro in India. It is called Namma Metro. In fact, there is solid reason to convert passenger trains into metro train.

So, what can be done to make life easy of a Bengalurian ( citizen of Bangalore) who spends almost 240 hours every year in traffic jams?

And don't say that make traffic police do their work honestly. This is because the traffic police men of bengaluru are doing fine job. See this video which shows a traffic policemen having nuts to stop even the president of India to let Ambulance a smooth ride.

Here are few solutions:

  • Construct another ring road outside of a present ring road.
  • Increase public transport facility and make it cheaper to encourage more and more people to use it.
  • Develop a sub urban railway for the city. Recently, railway minister of India, Piyush Goyal did a review meeting with officials of South Western Railway in which he asked the railway manager to do preliminary investigation and submit a report regarding elevated suburban railway system in the city.
  • A digital traffic monitoring system which can identify a bottleneck causing a Jam and instruct the commuter to park his vehicle at some other place so that traffic can move smoothly.
As per latest reports, RITES ( engineering consultancy company specializing in transport infrastructure) has already submitted its report with drawings of elevated railway cum road route and plans to relocate the existing establishments coming in way of this route.

Surely, Bengaluru needs faster transport services. It's just not right that a city with so much brains and ability to produce some of the smartest software runs slow due to traffic jams.


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