22 December 2007

The Last Mile of travelling

There was a time when Bangalore did not have any one-ways. But still the traffic was not mentioned in any news. Now with so many one-ways its still in the news.

When the number of commuters increased, the public transport (BMTC) did not wake up. People started buying and using their own vehicles. Now it has woken up and introduced very nice services. But people are not going to change because:
  • We have gotten used to the convenience of using own vehicles.
  • We can now afford to buy/run/maintain own vehicles, despite increasing fuel and steel prices.
  • We don't have time to walk the last mile of polluted streets after getting down from a bus.
  • The buses are never on time. Thats because of the amount of traffic.
I was very happy when BMTC introduced Volvo buses. I hate driving in Bangalore and would love to go by the Volvo.

But there is a major problem. The nearest volvo bus stop from my home is 2kms away and the nearest volvo bus stop from my office is 1km away. I tried going by the normal BMTC buses to cover for that distance. But the timing is always not right. I've to wait for a normal bus near my house and then wait for the volvo bus. Too much time wasted in waiting. I even tried walking the 3kms.

They had introduced the YI services for some time. It would show the current location of the bus you are interested in by SMS. That way you can plan your travel to the volvo bus stop. This service has been discontinued now :(.

BMTC had also introduced Gramantara bus services. They were minibuses which would go to remote and less populated areas. The advantage was that they could go through narrow and winding roads of villages. Now I see very few of those buses.

That did not work out and I'm back at using my two wheeler :(.

I read an article in the newspaper today (22nd Dec) that BMTC is introducing taxi services for those going to the new Bangalore Airport. The taxis will pick up the passenger from the house and drop at the nearest Vajra bus. Vajra (volvo) buses are being planned to pickup/drop commuters from and to the new airport to different locations in Bangalore. They are planning to use GPS to synchronize the taxis and the buses.

Now that is a brilliant idea. That covers the last mile of traveling to the airport!

If they could introduce something like that for local transport as well....

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