The elusive last-mile connectivity in City

The elusive last-mile connectivity in City

Multi-modal system remains a chimera

The elusive last-mile connectivity in City

The call by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and a cadre of enlightened citizens, encouraging City residents to use public transport has largely fallen on deaf ears, especially to those who own their own vehicles. 

While it is easy to blame citizens for adding thousand vehicles a day to City’s roads — which is already burgeoning with over 45 lakh private vehicles — public transport is largely being ignored by private commuters because of its critical lack of connectivity in the so-called “last mile.”

Transport experts explain that for public transport to effectively work in cities, there needs to be multiple, integrated systems of transport which can provided commuters with reliable, timely transport from their point of origin to their destination — no matter where that might be. 

Maintaining this unbroken system of transportation, using a combination of road and train vehicles has been achieved in large cities such as Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai, using local trains or trams, supported by buses and auto-rickshaws. In Bangalore, however, implementation of a similar system has posed challenges. 

‘Unruly auto drivers’

Here, buses are solely augmented by auto-rickshaws. But the unruly and extortionist attitudes of some auto rickshaws have left many commuters reluctant to engage their services. The end result has been that people cling to their private vehicles, ignoring calls to use public transportation.

This itself has challenged the Central Government’s urban transport strategy, which is based on restricting the unregulated growth of private vehicles.

The white elephant

Bangalore’s other hope, the Namma Metro, is still in its infancy and a long way away in solving this problem. Metro planners, who expected such a problem, are currently in talks to arrange connecting services for metro commuters, using BMTC buses or other operators. In the meantime, however, there is no escape for Bangaloreans from City’s traffic problems.