How to reach a place fast? Car? Walk ?

If you provide the answer “motor vehicle”, your answer is wrong in the context of the traffic signal at Kundanhalli Gate or Silk Board in Bangalore. By walking, you can be faster and can also reach ahead of the bus or car. During peak morning hours, by walking you gain a 15 minute advantage over motor vehicle at Kundanahalli Gate. Let us understand how walk can be faster than bus and car. Read  The 40-min crawl to travel 3.2 km

 ITPL area is location where IT companies are situated and more than a lakh people have their work place in this area. Company employees come in the morning by buses to ITPL from different places in Bangalore and go bak in the evening. The route to ITPL is famous for traffic jams. People spend more than an hour to come in the morning to work and spend evening to reach home, irrespective of their mode of travel, public bus, company vehicle or their own car. Most of the cars have single passenger who also acts as driver or passenger and his driver.

My home is located on the en-route to ITPL and we are close distance from ITPL. Very few people in apartments go to their offices in ITPL by their bicycle and hence they mostly use car.  Fortunately or unfortunately , my work place has never been at ITPL. I relocated to house on the way(main road) towards ITPL 7 years ago.  When the bulk of employees comes to their office in specific direction, I travel in the opposite direction.  When I relocated to my new place 7 years back, the transport going in the opposite direction was quite smooth and we could go quite early. Once I relocated here, I started using public transport and I continue to be a IT person using  public transport for last 7 years.  Those days were lucky days as they was less traffic in the morning on the opposite direction and  the same was the case in the evening.

Alas! My luck has gone today. It takes me also an hour of commute every day from home to work and reverse direction.  Here is a brief of what happens.

  1. More corporate buses are coming to ITPL in morning customized only for IT employees working in specific IT companies. These buses need to go back and most of them go empty handed on the return trip.  Hence there are a lot of buses with very less passengers on the road increasing the traffic.
  2. Keep in mind the conductors of the buses want to increase collection and drivers run in bus race every day. Due to race for money collection, the bus does not stop at the bus stops to pick up passengers as they speed up and travel on extreme right to make sure passengers are kept waiting.. Then they would also stop at some bus stops and wait for passengers to come. For me both these extreme behaviour are frustrating and would make passengers move to self transport from public transport.
  3. 2. You read earlier what happens with the customer service to bus passenger. BMTC has felt the pinch of more increased expense to run multiple bus routes with little or no passenger. Hence BMTC has increased the bus ticket price. Once upon a time what costed Rs 30 now costs Rs 70. I have monthly VOLVO bus pass and my bus pass has increased from Rs 1300 to Rs 2300.
  4. For normal people, there are no normal buses with normal charges. when there are lot of VOLVO buses going empty, there are few buses going for the normal people and persons who need real transport are not getting the affordable transport.
  5. Outer Ring road has lot of under pass and flyovers. Within a 4 km stretch there are 4 of them and the traffic moves fast in that area. The vehicles that speed across this area either comes and get stuck at Silk Board or at Kundanahalli Gate today. Without acknowledging that better road connectivity increases more vehicles to play on road, there is a proposal to also construct a flyover at Kundanahalli Gate.
  6. As the congestion has been moved by underpass and flyovers from Outer ring road to kundanahalli gate, the transport authorities have decided to give preference for people coming towards ITPL than for the traffic going in opposite direction to ITPL. Else there is going to be traffic jam on Outer Ring Road. This approach has affected my transport means and the time to reach my office has increased.
Analysis of the Challenge: The major time is spend at kundanahalli gate and Silk Board.
  •  I use approach to shorten wait time by taking a  walk from where bus stops in traffic jam and reach kundanahalli gate to board the first bus waiting at the signal. I have to follow the same approach at  Silk Board. Kundanahalli gate walk is easier and simpler compared to Silk board as there is atleast foot path for pedestrian to walk( do not ask about motorists driving on them) at Kundanahalli gate.  Closer to Silk Board, there is no footpath and there is no clear bus stop de-marked here when passenger travels on silk board terminates buses.
  • The drivers of the buses going beyond Silk Board exercise their choice to open doors not based on traffic and their position, but based on their mood that day. When they do not allow the passenger to board at the signal,  the passenger needs to walk another 100 meters crossing the signal to reach bus stop and there is high propability working against the passenger that bus would cross the next step before he reaches the next bus stop and he is forced to wait for the next bus.
 One can observe that by arriving at approach that helps us to do things fast, faster and fastest without a good preparation, we actually end up going slow in our day to day travel. What to do about this?  Will driver-less cars change the status quo? Will arrival of Uber in Bangalore solve problem of traffic jams for people using public transport and  ones who cannot afford cars ? Does a flyover at Kundanahalli really solve the problem?