Excuse for late arrival has become a norm as everyone has one reason for their delay – Bengaluru traffic problem. I felt really bad for the first couple of times when I was new to Bengaluru arriving late for meetings. I get use to it slowly. But let me raise up before I get accustomed to it. Here are few of my thoughts how we can increase the efficiency of the overall transport.
The false belief – The tables turned
People started using personal cars as it highly saved the time for people. But we don’t have that luxury anymore. Going by a personal car or by a public transport does not make a big difference. Most of the workforce in Bengaluru does cognitive work. At least when you don’t drive, you have to give your mind a more time to think. At least take a nap to be productive later. With an availability of a lot of Air conditioned busses, I believe given the right infrastructure around the transport, people will be ready to adopt.
Shared Rides are good But not 4 passengers
Shared rides in Ola / Uber really saves a lot of space on the road. But when the ride goes a merry go around trip, it again uses more road space then what is needed. It is time that the algorithm used by Ola / Uber should get more streamlined so that the required commute / actual commute comes down drastically. I hate Share as it loads (not boards) three person at the back seat of car making it really tough to commute and making me shift back to solo hires.It will be good if they reduce it to 3 passengers for a peaceful ride.
Dynamic Speed Limit
The speed limit currently set at 40 is good and I believe that has reduced a lot of accidents in Bengaluru. But when the roads are open after the peak hours, the speed limit should be increased. It is better to adopt a dynamic speed limit in at least wide roads like ORR. Having said that it is not to set a limit from hour to hour basis which will fail during unprecedented traffic.
Google today has a lot of information about how traffic in every city operates. Google can accurately saw how much time it will take to reach from one place to another considering all the forthcoming confession into its algorithm.Create the Speed limits dynamically using Artifactual intelligence and display it for cars to follow.In a sense this will make the pre peak traffic flow faster giving lot of room for the peak traffic.
Make it walkable
People often use cars as they feel a longer walk or unsafe to walk from their home to the nearby terminal of public transport. A few places in Bengaluru especially west around IISC has a lot of trees and I believe even when you walk a few Kms, you won’t find yourself exhausted. But when you walk in-between concrete jungles, you will be. People will start walking when there are enough pavements and sun shades (trees). There should be the better markings in the road signs and the pedestrian crossings to make it more safer.
Car Pool Lane
There is no car pool Lane even in the broad roads. Given the number of cars on the road, it is even better to allocate two lanes for the car pool to increase car pooling and reduce the number of single person occupied cars.
Autos rickshaw saves a lot
Auto rickshaw is one of the major transport system. If the pollution levels are brought down, people will use more autos than cars. Autos on the overall will use a lower space on the road then cars. Shared Auto rides with 7 seater autos are common in Chennai. But I don’t see them in Bengaluru. Not sure whether it is a government decision to keep them off.
Empty Busses Off the Road:
I always see a few A/C Busses that come for the same destination and a very few passengers in each bus. This happens at the peak traffic as well.It is better to keep these busses off the road and ply it on demand. We may sometime need to lower the efficiency of the professionals for the overall efficiency of the Transport corporation. By keeping these buses out of road, we will be able to increase the person to bus ratio to a better extent.
Cost – a Major Factor
Cost is always a concern for every Indian citizen. The good news is that the A/C busses price cut a few months back has increased adoption of the busses. But I believe it is still on a higher side for people to ride. Government should also think about working closely with the Shared ride providers like Ola / Uber to bring down the cost to increase people to move away from single occupant cars. For overall Bengaluru to be efficient, few of the services may need to loose some more money on the A/C bus tariff to increase adoption.
Due to the Bengaluru traffic problem, it takes more than 5 to 6 minutes for a kilometre of ride during peak hours. Not everyone will have the luxury to use a non peak hour drive to office.People who have to be on time to office waste most of their time on the road. A survey in 2015 states that 60 crore man hours are wasted in traffic per year in Bengaluru alone.This is a very serious number and translates to thousands of crores of money in value. Time to rethink transport for a better living.
With the advent of the IoT we will be able to get more and more data about every aspect of the traffic and the road. If we can put these data into right use and with all the above mentioned possible options, the Bengaluru traffic problem and the mental stress can be brought down to a liveable extent.