Residents of Bengaluru’s Doddanekundi, off Outer Ring Road, and Sensing Local, a city-based think tank started a two-day government-sanctioned audit on Friday with the hope of improving the public bus system in their neighbourhood. This initiative 500D, named after the local bus route number, is being carried out under the Sustainable Urban Mobility Accord (SUMA) programme rolled out by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT). SUMA is aimed at bringing increased citizen participation in the creation and improvement of sustainable mobility in Bengaluru.
During the survey on Friday morning, the members said previous interaction within the community revealed that many do not consider using buses due to lack of transparency and unreliable nature of the service by the government-run BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation). In addition to that, having to change buses to reach their destination, or involvement of other modes of transport like cycling, walking in the commute has made citizens not take buses.
It was noted that the lack of usage persisted despite the creation of Bus Priority lane in Bengaluru’s Outer Ring Road locality.
“The buses are often less-used by people because there’s not enough clarity regarding the schedules or route. Moreover, it also depends on the accessibility of the bus stop and the infrastructure of the same. Whether the bus stop is safe or not is a major concern as well. People who come from nearby places use different routes to reach the bus stop, if there are issues on their route, it deters the people from taking the bus,” said a member of Sensing Local.
Under the audit that will span over two days, volunteers and members of Sensing Local will be documenting the usage of bus stops, frequency of buses and assessing the connectivity from the EMC2 and Rainbow Hospital bus stops to key destinations in the neighbourhood. The audit will be carried out in phases throughout the day the members of the think tank said.
“We will be examining the usage during peak hours and non-peak hours. Based on data collected during the survey by another set of members, we had mapped out regions from where people come to the said bus stops and we are also conducting a walk audit to see the infrastructure between the routes. During the current audit, we will examine the route connecting to Doddanekundi village and the Service Road,” said Naveen from Sensing Local.
Meanwhile, a team of volunteers from Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) have been actively surveying the area and identifying issues faced by the residents, commuters who either live or work in the area. The data collected during the audit, after collation with the inputs collected from residents and commuters, will be used in devising structural interventions for existing issues. A report on the same will be submitted to DULT, which will then forward it to the city’s civic body, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike for implementation of the recommendations.