Commute

On February 1st, union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the final (Interim) budget from the current government that will seek an electoral mandate in a few weeks from now. The minister’s speech had only two major announcements on urban public transport: one, that e-buses would be encouraged, and two, that Metro Rail and NaMo Bharat trains would be further supported in large cities. This followed the same pattern of allocation for transport that the union government has made over the five years of its current term. Indian cities have been grappling to contain heavy traffic and emissions from the large…

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With the operation of southbound buses shifted from Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) in Koyambedu to Kalaignar Centenary Bus Terminus (KCBT) in Kilambakkam, there is not much clarity about the bus services among commuters. Kavin, who lives in Arumbakkam, was one among those affected by the confusion over transition of the bus stand from Koyambedu to Kilambakkam. He booked a ticket to Dindigul in an Omni bus in January-end and chose the pick-up point as Vadapalani. The bus should have picked him up at the designated stop at 9 pm. At 8 pm, he got a call from the travel…

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When Jitendra Dixit, a journalist and author, who lives in Wadala, went by the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) or Atal Setu, he found that it barely saved him 5-10 minutes from Mumbai to Pune in spite of paying a toll of Rs 250.   The MTHL, which connects Navi Mumbai and south Mumbai, was inaugurated with great fanfare on January 12th 2024. But the toll fee seems to have put off a lot of people, because in its first month till February 13th 2024, only 8,13,774 commuters had used it. It collected revenue of Rs 1, 39, 585,310 with a…

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Over the last few years, there has been a proliferation of ride-hailing apps in Bengaluru, from Namma Yatri to Nano Travels. The Karnataka government is even planning to launch its own ride-hailing app, as per reports. While some commuters continue to use Uber and Ola, there are some who are satisfied with local apps. This article analyses what alternative apps have to offer vis-a-vis Uber and Ola.  Nano Travels: Benefiting drivers and commuters, following rules G Narayana Swamy, a Bengaluru-based cab driver, is steering the ride-hailing industry with his Nano Travels, operating within a 70 km radius in the city.…

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When the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link or Atal Setu was nearing completion, the most discussed issue about the project was not about it being an engineering marvel, but what the toll charges were likely to be. Whether it is the Mumbai-Pune Expressway or the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, when a project that improves the road connectivity for people, invariably tolls are charged - sometimes to recover project costs and later for maintenance. As more and more projects get unveiled, commuters feel frustrated about various toll charges they pay to use the roads that may ease and facilitate their travel, but escalate…

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Sarjapura Road gridlock continues to haunt Bengalureans for several years now. Over the years, several solutions have been planned, but it has done little to alleviate the issue. The issues More than 15,000 cars (PCU) every hour at the Sarjapur Road-ORR junction 75,000-1 lakhs commuters - more than 50% of office goers take private transport Footpaths non-existent Last mile connectivity - There are no bus routes servicing inner roads. Some roads are too narrow for BMTC buses Metro on Sarjapur Road will take a few years What solution addresses this mess: Road widening, elevated ways and flyovers, more BMTC buses,…

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Recently, a plethora of articles have flooded in both digital and print media regarding a downward spiral in the BEST bus fleet size. The numbers have fallen from 3749 in 2016 to 2959 at the end of last year. While the attention this issue receives is certainly warranted, let’s not overlook the broader transportation landscape of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The MMR spans an area of 6328 km², which is 14 times larger than Mumbai which falls under BMC limits (also known as Greater Mumbai). It comprises 18 urban local bodies and over a thousand villages forming a contiguous labour market around the Greater…

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Fransisca Dantas, a visually challenged teacher, has a unique accessibility challenge while boarding the Mumbai local trains. She travels five days of the week from Andheri to Dadar by the local train for work. At Andheri, announcements about the arrival of trains, whether they are 12 or 15 coach, are erratic. This means passengers don't know where the women's compartment will be. Like other women commuters, she cannot run to get into the women’s compartment once the train arrives. “If it is a 15 coach, people start running helter skelter. With a first class season ticket I can get into…

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Cantonment lies almost at the heart of Bengaluru, and has the city’s oldest Railway Station. It is presently being redeveloped as the fourth Railway Terminal of Bengaluru – after KSR City, Yeshvantpura and Sir MV Terminal. The earlier heritage facade will be replaced with a new modern look. The new features planned include a large air-conditioned concourse area, segregated arrival and departure points, ground + multi-level underground parking, a roof plaza / waiting area over the platforms, new green building features, new foot-over-bridges across platforms, etc. All this is planned for completion by the end of 2025. Proposed design of…

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"I say no to passengers who want to go to Viviana Mall because of the service road traffic, " says Manik Patil, an auto rickshaw driver who drives from Kapurbawdi to Majiwada in Thane. The service road in question is a 1.3 km road that starts from Cadbury junction to Majiwada Naka Pokhran Road 2, near Thane’s biggest mall – Viviana Mall. Given its location, the road often ends up being a hub of traffic jams. A local resident Avinash Tripathi says, "Just a few days ago, it took me around half an hour to cross 500 metres on the…

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