Commute

The Chennai Metropolitan Area has seen rapid growth in recent decades. Industries have been clustered in various areas in the neighbouring districts of Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur. For those who live in these regions and are employed here, connectivity to Chennai is a major hassle that has not been comprehensively addressed. The hardships faced by those commuting to and from Chennai to Gummidipoondi are examples of this.  With many industries, a SIPCOT complex and upcoming industrial parks, Gummidipoondi sees many commuting to the region for work. But poor rail connectivity is a problem that forces them to spend more time…

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In 2022, the authorities announced the plan for the introduction of electric buses with impressive reactions from the public. While Mumbai and Pune have their fair share of electric bus fleets,this was new for the residents of Thane. TMC (Thane Municipal Corporation) soon started the service in small numbers. With global warming on the rise, Mumbai is witnessing one of the hottest summers this year. It has only increased the need for a cool, yet sustainable commute option for locals. Electric Buses are the perfect solution for this. Comfortable and cost effective With sleek interiors, the buses are capable of…

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"The wait for an MTC bus on hot days is pushing me to use autos," says M Priyanka. "I take the 12G bus to go to my office in Mylapore from KK Nagar. There is no bus shelter in Munusamy Salai in KK Nagar from where I board the bus. The trees around the stop, which provided some respite, were chopped and not replanted. The wait for buses is also unpredictable. So now I use autos."  Priyanka used to pay nothing to travel on the MTC bus, thanks to bus transport being made free for women by the state government.…

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As metro network expands and ridership increases in Bengaluru, crowding at metro stations will be experienced more frequently. This raises concern with regard to safety issues, stressful rides, increased travel time, among other problems. I have been commuting from home to college and back by metro since 2017. Yeshwanthpur metro station, my starting point is always heavily crowded, especially on Mondays and festival days. The metro station gets crowded as many passengers alight at the nearby Yeshwantpur railway junction. The main reason for my running late on most days is the bottleneck caused by the crowds at the ticket/token counters.…

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Commuting by public transport in Chennai brings with it concerns around safety. We come across news reports about the unruly behaviour of youth in MRTS trains and MTC buses. Issues ranging from harassment to scuffles break out on public transport and the average commuter finds themselves in the crosshairs. There have been calls to strengthen safety in public transport, especially in buses, bus stops and the MRTS trains and MRTS stations. Sadly, not much headway has been made in this regard even after many years. Safety in MRTS stations and trains in Chennai Over the last few months, we the…

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It had been more than a decade since I had travelled by myself in an MTC bus. I was able to do so on my own with my wheelchair when low-floor buses were trialled in Chennai in February. As per a Madras high court direction, low-floor, accessible buses were taken on a trial along various routes in Chennai. The buses that run on Chennai streets at present are not accessible for any persons with disabilities. Almost all the buses are three feet in height, with a four-step approach. This meant that no person with disabilities was able to access the…

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Towards the end of 2016, the massive public campaign against the proposed steel flyover, led by Citizens for Bengaluru along with many other groups, not only stopped the Government from building the flyover but also helped build support for improved and better mass public transport in Bengaluru. Protests against elevated corridor project The dormant demand for suburban train gathered steam with the energetic #ChukuBukuBeku rail yatra and all major parties pledged funds and professed keen interest in the project. It also became a topic of discussion during the 2018 Assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, the campaign to double…

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Traffic, or mobility in general, has been one of the biggest challenges Bengaluru has faced for decades now. While diverse solutions in the form of flyovers, underpasses, signal-free corridors, grade separators, and road-widening have been tried, the issue has defied a sustainable solution. Most experts have pointed out that the only way to solve congestion is to plan to move people, not personal vehicles, and that public transport is the best investment for the city.  Problem statement In the “Bengaluru Constituencies Datajam'', conducted by OpenCity.in on April 1st, we looked at public transport in terms of accessibility to Metro and BMTC…

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Tambaram’s transformation into a bustling suburb in the past few decades has been nothing short of remarkable. The creation of Tambaram Municipal Corporation has been a recent development that signals the growth of the area.  With the increase in population comes the need for better infrastructure, services and connectivity. Connectivity has been a hurdle that the suburb has yet to solve, with residents’ demands for more trains and buses a constant.  Recently, the residents saw success with Tambaram station becoming one of the stops for the Tejas Express, the semi-high-speed train running between Chennai and Madurai. This achievement was the…

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"How can I be encouraged to walk in Chennai if the roads do not have space for pedestrians?" 23-year-old Varsha Ganesh, a resident of KK Nagar asks. "I take share autos or my two-wheeler these days, even if I have to cover a short distance."  Varsha is not the only person to feel that way. "The situation is no different anywhere else in the city. Pedestrian safety has always been the last priority for the government," says Raghukumar Choodamani, a civic activist from Perambur. Last year, pedestrians suffered 35% of the total road fatalities in Chennai. A study identified Koyambedu,…

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