Registrations for two-wheelers at 41.86 lakh; cars at 11.8 lakh

60 lakh vehicles and counting Will Bengalurus traffic woes ever endPTI/Image used for representation purpose
news Traffic Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 17:12

If you think that Bengaluru traffic is at its worst peak, then you are right. With a little over 60 lakh vehicles plying on the roads, the city is groaning under the weight of the resultant traffic problems and vehicular pollution arising out of it. And this number only includes vehicles registered in Bengaluru, discounting vehicles that come in and out of the city on a daily basis.

Of the 60 lakh vehicles, non-transport vehicles account for 54.6 lakh, which include private vehicles like cars and two-wheelers. Two-wheeler registrations constitute a major share of this number, with registrations standing at 41.86 lakh, followed by cars with 11.8 lakh registrations. Taxis are another major reason for the traffic snarl, with a total number of 1.05 lakh on the roads and far outnumber buses which stand at 40,365.

The data shows a clear increase in the number of private-owned vehicles over that of state-run services. Prof M.N. Sreehari, Advisor to Government of Karnataka for Traffic, Transportation and Infrastructure told The News Minute, “This is the highest registration for the per capita population in the city. The public wants the comfort of private vehicles and a shorter mode of commute, instead of a long-drawn journey, which will explain such a drastic count of private-owned vehicles in the city.”

Nevertheless, he believes that the numbers are set to decline in the coming few years, with the advent of the metro in the city. Where BMTC was not able to make a breakthrough, the newly arrived metro might be able to succeed, he says.

“The BMTC buses, although not a very sound system sees close to 46 lakh people commuting daily. The new corridor of metro up to Baiyapanahalli is already witnessing around 1.5-2 lakh people. Once the new corridor to Jayanagar is in place, it is also expected to see similar number in commutation, thereby reducing crowd from the roads,” explains Prof Sreehari. 

However, Pawan Mulukutla from WRI India does not agree with Prof Sreehari’s views. “In several global cities we have seen that the only way to bring about a nodal shift is to strengthen the bus system. If you think that metro will solve the problem, Delhi has a 100-km metro stretch in place. Has it solved their transportation woes?” he questions while speaking to TNM.

Also, the metro does not address the issue of last-mile connectivity. “And in a city like Bengaluru, the last mile isn’t a mere 1 km from the station; it goes up to 5 kms in the least,” he says.

And it does not stop there. The metro is also expected to bring about a latent demand on the roads of the city. “Latent demand is what arises of the free space that is available on the roads due to the metro. Several people who refrained from using their vehicles earlier will begin to bring them out, because of the space available on the roads. So even if you bring in metro, there will be congestion on the roads,” elaborates Pawan.

So will the city ever see a decline in congestion and a resolution of its traffic woes? “Vehicular growth will continue to increase till 2020, by when the metro should be in place. Even after that, I do not see a reduction because of the exponential growth of the city,” he says. While the transportation system revolves in the central turf of the city, the outskirts are neglected.

“When you sum up all these factors, the future does not seem very bright for the roads of Bengaluru,” says Pawan. “I do not see any respite for the next five years, in the least.”


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