Public transport not convenient enough

Public transport not convenient enough

With 79 lakh vehicles plying on roads meant for just 15 lakh, the city is choking. Here’s why commuters skip buses the moment they can afford two-wheelers and cars.

Safety and comfort are cited as reasons for people to buy cars.

Private vehicles are often blamed for the traffic nightmare in Bengaluru. 

As a city, we like private transport more than public, and switch to it the moment we can afford it, says an expert.

Bengaluru has 79 lakh vehicles plying on roads that can take only 15 lakh vehicles, according to M N Sreehari, traffic advisor to the Karnataka government.

The city prefers private vehicles, he reckons, for a variety of reasons.

“The time factor comes into play in urban areas. Public transport is not reliable,” he explains. Commuters worry about getting seats, comfort, as also safety and security.

Even if a private vehicle is delayed because of traffic, it is preferred because it takes the commuter from end to end, Sreehari says.

The time taken may be the same, but private transport serves the commuter’s convenience better.

When it comes to public transport, the Metro is the most preferred.

“It is reliable, fast and offers air-conditioning. But unfortunately, Metro connectivity is not great in the city,” he says.

People can be nudged towards public transport by making car transport more expensive, Sreehari says.

He recommends hiking fees for vehicle registration and parking.

“Buying a car is a dead investment, it only depreciates over time. It is a luxury and a way to show social status,” he reasons.

Anshul Sehgal, facility lead at a reputed company, says, “I prefer private vehicles because it makes me more independent and caters to my ad hoc lifestyle. Having a child in the family, my personal vehicle makes it easier to commute around the city. Though getting stuck in traffic is common every day, there is a sense of comfort when we are travelling as a family in a car.”

The family of Mohsin Shaikh, managing director, Zara’s International Academy, has four people and three cars. Since they have different working hours, they prefer to travel separately.

“My workplace is 3.5 km from my house, and autos and cab aggregators are too expensive, especially during the peak hour. Auto drivers never go by the meter and charge Rs 100 to Rs 150, which makes it an expensive affair. Having a private vehicle is a blessing,” he says.


How to popularise public transport

- Work on last mile connectivity
- Provide seats, manage crowds better
- Add more coaches to the Metro


Private vehicles


- Allow travel anywhere at any time

- Reduce travel time: no waiting at bus stops

- Provide space to store your things



- Add to city’s choked traffic

- Leave bigger carbon footprint

Public vehicles


- Use resources like fuel and gas optimally

- Reduce traffic congestions

- No parking and maintenance worries


- No last mile connectivity

- Seats not guaranteed

- Difficult to use for kids and the elderly

- Fear of pickpockets and harassers


DH and Citizens for Civic Amenities: A partnership for better Bengaluru will be held on December 1, from 5 pm to 6.30 pm at The Chancery Pavilion. On spot registrations start at 4.30 pm.  For online registration, follow this link