353 cars, 1,372 bikes hit Bengaluru daily in 2016

353 cars, 1,372 bikes hit Bengaluru daily in 2016
On an average, 353 new cars and 1,372 new bikes joined the city’s slow-moving traffic every day in 2016, taking the total number of vehicles to 66.65 lakh.

As per the statistics from the Transport Department, at least 7 lakh vehicles were registered in the 10 regional transport offices of the city in 2016.

Two-wheelers outnumbered cars in registration. However, riders of these vehicles are the most vulnerable, according to a report by the Ministry of Road Transport. The report showed that they were among the 40% (4,353) of 10,856 people killed in accidents in Karnataka in 2015.

Cars, though seem to be lower in number, play a major role in traffic congestion considering their road occupancy. According to a report submitted to Directorate of Urban Land Transport, the average speed of vehicles observed on major corridors in city was 22 kmph against the desirable 40 kmph.

An independent study by the Consortium of Traffic Engineers and Safety Trainers had revealed that vehicles that travelled at 35 kmph in 2005 moved at 9 kmph in 2014.

Urban Mobility Expert Ashwin Mahesh said no amount of infrastructure will be adequate if private vehicles are not reduced. The absence of a dependable public transport system is the main reason for the rising numbers, besides the desire to own vehicles which contributes marginally, he said.

“We can dissuade people from buying more vehicles only when we provide them a viable alternative.
We have a BMTC app that shows the estimated time of arrival of a bus. But people won’t wait for bus. They want buses at regular intervals which will allow them to plan their timings,” he said.

Stressing that public transportation systems should be dependable and affordable, he said, “According to global standards, there should be 120 buses per 1 lakh people. But we have 55 per lakh. BMTC should have at least 6,000 buses. At the same time, we need a comprehensive approach that includes metro, trains and carpooling.”

The number of taxis grew from 99,644 in 2015 to 1,31,611 with 31,967 more cabs added by the end of the year. When asked for reaction, Srinivas Alavalli from the Citizens for Bengaluru said taxis, including app-based Ola and Uber, cannot make a reliable mass transport system. “We should also look at affordability. In 2005, 50% of commuters in the city depended on BMTC buses, which came down to 47% in 2015. We have a situation where buying a bike seems better than waiting for city bus, where ultimately you pay more per kilometre,” he said.

Ashwin Mahesh said insisting that public transport systems should be commercially viable is wrong.
“Such systems are there to serve public. Not to make money. Traffic congestion will end if people choose mass transport instead of private vehicles. Consequently working hours will increase,” he said.
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