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On a safe route

Tini Sara Anien, December 28, 2015, DHNS 0:05 IST

Smart options

conscious decision Bengalureans are looking at safe travelling options for New Year's eve.
New Year’s Eve is almost here and Bengalureans are preparing for it with elaborate parties and get-togethers. While the celebrations are larger and grander this year, reaching home safely after the parties is a cause of concern for many.

‘Metrolife’ interacted with transport providers and a few Bengalureans about the safe options they can choose from.

Most cab operators are set to roll out additional cars and ride options for New Year’s Eve. Ola plans to have more vehicles on the road for the evening and will also have tie-ups with popular restaurants, pubs and bars. Anand Subramanian, Senior Director, Marketing Communications, Ola, says, “We are happy to be a part of the ‘Respect The Road’ campaign with SABMiller India to keep the citizens and roads in Bengaluru safe. Drunken driving is one of the leading causes of road mishaps in India. While we urge people to indulge in celebrations this festive season, we suggest they take a cab back home, which is a smart and responsible decision.”

Other cab providers like Uber India plan to work with their driver partners to have as many vehicles as possible so that people can travel safely and conveniently. “On New Year’s Eve, our priority is to make transportation convenient and hassle-free; to get people from point A to point B safely,” says Bhavik Rathod, GM — South and West, Uber India.

About security measures to keep track of a rider, he adds that pro-tips will be sent out
to riders with the safety features in-app. “We have features like ‘Send Status’ where riders can easily share ride details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with upto five friends or family members so they can see exactly where the rider is in real time.”

Bhavik adds that riders can also see the route on the map in the application. “The real-time location is clearly marked so that riders know where they are on their journey and if they are on the right route.”

He adds that there is an in-app ‘Help’ function to alert the local police should a rider need immediate assistance in the event of an emergency. It connects the rider to the local police by dialing 100.

Cab-sharing platforms and related applications are also hopeful that Bengalureans will opt to either share a ride or carpool, to reach home safe. Hariprakash Agrawal, founder and CEO of RideAlly, says that carpooling is always a good option. “To start the year by carpooling would be a good decision. With our many safety features like prompt verifications and options like co-passenger information, carpooling with us would be a safe and practical choice.”

There are also many citizens who advocate carpooling, feels Ketan, a senior software programmer. He says that a safe option for the evening would be to hitch a ride with friends. “Drinking responsibly is very important but travelling safely after getting intoxicated is a top priority. Being a teetotaler, whenever I’m out with my friends, I try and drop them all back to their homes,” he says.

Others like Sharmista BS, a homemaker, thinks that choosing to party closer
home is a also a good option. “That way, one can avoid the hassle of travelling.” She agrees that hiring a cab is more convenient and less troublesome in case of late-night parties and events. “For those who do not want to hire a cab, they can also choose to designate someone to drive them back home or even hire a driver.”

When it comes to public transport, apart from the regular routes, BMTC will also be adding bus routes for the evening.

Renukeshwar BC, Chief Traffic Manager (Operations), BMTC, says that they plan to operate Big10 buses from MG Road and Brigade Road from 10.30 pm to 2 am, depending on the need, to areas like ITPL, Electronic City, Koramangala and Sarjapur Road. “We also plan to operate from Shivajinagar, Kempegowda Bus Station and Shanthinagar TTMC, depending on the need and demand, towards Jayanagar, Vijaynagar, Yelahanka and Bannerghatta Road.”

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