BMTC is planning to overhaul the public bus transport system of Bengaluru by 2030. At present, the corporation is working on a vision that can bring this transformation and for that, the transport utility may incorporate this vision document in its proposed comprehensive mobility plan (CMP). However, the citizens of the city also want to have a say in this matter.
BMTC Thinking On A Long-Term Plan
According to the managing director of BMTC, NV Prasad, “We are looking at a long-term plan on increasing fleet size, increasing operational efficiency and reducing losses. The document would also be handed over to Namma Metro officials who are working on the CMP.”
Already the BMRCL has started working on CMP six months ago. The BMRCL wants to take assistance from the Center for its two Metro projects proposed recently. However, it is not clear whether the Namma Metro or the BMTC will give due importance to the inputs of the citizens.
Prior to this planning BMTC did conduct a couple of subject-specific studies like ridership plan, operational efficiency improvement plan, or coming up with bus-priority lanes and so on.
This is for the first time that BMTC is thinking of doing the major transformation in the transport system through its long-term vision plan. The recent frequent changes in the MD of BMTC also did not make such planning possible adding to the confusion.
Experts Want BMTC To Get User Inputs
Urban mobility experts have appreciated this decision of BMTC but they also want the corporation to get inputs from the users. Some experts are of the opinion that the new plan should be added to the Master Plan 2031.
The senior project associate (transport) at the World Research Institute (WRI) India, Sudeept Maiti says, “The vision document should focus on three elements: data, integration with other modes of transport and technology. From setting up an in-house data analytics center to improving operational efficiency to using technology to enhance customer experience, the BMTC should look at new opportunities to grow.”
He further added that the vision document must also set annual goals. The lead (urban transport) Center for Study of Science, Technology, and Policy (CSTEP), a think tank based in the IT city of India, Vivek Vaidyanathan said, “The Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation study, existing and proposed master plans should guide BMTC’s vision document. The BMTC should look at the possibility of playing the role of an operator or enabler.”
Vaidyanathan further added that the bus corporation owned by the state in Bhubaneshwar collaborates with 3 private players for the smooth running of 200 plus buses.
Hold Public Consultation, Says IISc Professor
Bengaluru Bus Commuters Forum’s Vinay Sreenivasa and Prof. Ashish Verma from IISc in Bengaluru want the BMTC to arrange public consultation.
Sreenivasa also expressed doubt whether the vision document would make any sense if it is not integrated with the upcoming Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) or the Master Plan.