Alternate day commute by own vehicle

Irrespective of whether it is good or bad, makes sense or not, the one thing that is appreciative about this system is that it is an idea. Yes, finally the people who matter & need to work on the traffic conditions of the city are actually thinking & coming up with ideas. The administration may come up with numerous roads, ring roads, flyovers, underpasses etc but if the traffic on the road is going to keep increasing then all these improvements make little difference. Hence the idea of cutting out some traffic on the city roads as a rule makes sense. But can a ditto copy of the parking system (odd days parking on one side of the road & even days parking on the other side of the road) with respect to cutting out traffic work?

What is proposed is that on a certain day a vehicle which has an even registration number will ply & on another day vehicles that have an odd registration number could be taken out from the garages & used.

Pros – Yes it will drastically cut out traffic on the roads. The roads will be freer & we could all breathe less polluted air.

Cons – How does one who is presently using his/her vehicle daily to commute to office or to the market or to drop his kid of to school go around doing this on a day he cant take his vehicle out? The public transport is definitely not reliable & comfortable.

Are there enough arrangements made to improve the public transport? How is this likely to be enforced? Of the thousands of vehicles on the road, will the cops positioned at strategic locations like turnings, or spots where the traffic is moving at a slow pace stop only those vehicles that they can see with their naked eye?

Let us understand one thing about city traffic, not just Bangalore’s but any city for that matter. Going around the city is basically as simple as living one’s life. One has to go out of the house or the office to do stuff. Live. How does one do that? Walk or take transport. If the city has excellent public transport facility & is promoted & positioned as cost effective, time saving, safe & comfortable then that in itself solves half the problem that we have on our hands.

It’s about time that a city like Bangalore gets some private participation in a big way to improve the public transport of the city. This will bring in multiple changes & improvements. The introduction & mass acceptance of the Volvo bus despite its high costs only suggest that what people want is a good, reliable & comfortable transport & if they have to pay a slight premium for it, so be it.

The odd-even alternate day vehicle usage system is flawed at its very core. Without giving an alternative way of commuting to the people this system will be meaningless.
But the thought that the traffic on the roads needs to be cut down is appreciative, only the method needs to be rethought.

12 Comments so far

  1. Ravishankar (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    I have been thinking of ways to reduce the traffic on roads. One of the better ways to reduce the traffic on roads is to lessen the number of cars on road. Most of the cars have one or max 2 people traveling in the car. The space occupied by the cars is lot more compared to buses in terms of people that can be accommodated in the same space.

    Some quick statistics:
    Lets assume on an average 2 people travel in a car and on an average a 40 seater bus occupies the space of 4 cars. This way there are only 8 people traveling in the cars where 30-40 people can be accommodated in the same space(in the bus).

    Lets say that there are at least 1000 cars moving at peak hour(2000 people). If these people can be accommodated in buses then it would take only 55-60 buses. The space occupied by these buses will be of that of 220-240 cars. In this way we could save a lot of fuel, avoid traffic and provide a safer environment as there would only be 60 buses burning the fuel in place of 1000 cars.

    Looking at these statistics I always wondered why companies can’t take some measures to introduce buses to pickup their employees and thereby reduce the traffic. It should be made compulsory that all the employees use the bus service. There will always be exceptions but most of the employee strength can be accommodated in the buses.

    I know the next point that comes up is the problem of point-to-point service, but isn’t walking good for health. Sometimes it so happens that the layouts which have sprang up recently have no proper road network. The buses cannot reach the interior roads of the layout due to lack of proper planning. Having a common pickup point for such layouts is much appreciated.

    I am sure if some companies start thinking in this way they can improve the condition of traffic and also the productivity of their employees.

    There might be several such ideas by many people to improve the traffic conditions but if only these ideas are implemented can we see the benefit.

    Talking on and on about the problem and not working out any solution is not going to help in any way. I feel its better to act than just talk.

  2. captainjohann (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

    As Lokesh has suggested this is not going to work except for the traffic constable to make some easy bucks.
    Bangalore has the worst traffic police in India.they just donot enforce the traffic laws.Delhi has more than 6 times the vehicles as in bangalore but it MOVES. the violators of traffic FEAR THE TRAFFIC POLICE.

  3. Mahesh (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

    People will have two-2 wheelers or two-cars one with odd number and one with even number so that they can use alternatively. Already every house has one two wheeler and a car. If these have odd and even numbers then also people will manage. The administration (which is lacking for last few years) should have considered the following:
    1. Who are the max car users ? (IT guys)
    2. Where are they travelling to (either Electronic city or ITPL or to another area where most of the IT companies are located)
    3. If they had implemented Metro or Mono rail in those 2 or 3 routes first then automatically car or bus usage will come down. Instead they build elevated road which again will increase the number of road vehicles.

    Don’t anyone in administration have vision ? they may make money through auto sector but they themselves cannot travel on road due to this traffic pileup. Even now it is not too late. If they setup mono/elevated rail corridors from MG road area to Electronic City and ITPL and Devanahalli – quite a bit of traffic will reduce.

  4. Pisipati Sriram (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

    With proper transportation, traffic and urban planning, congestion and traffic gridlocks perhaps can be tackled. If reliable rapid mass transit systems are available, surely majority of the people would opt for them For instance in a city like Hyderabad with 67 lakh population, there are about 20 lakh vehicles that move on the roads with terrific and alarming traffic jams. If the vehicle composition is taken, there are about 14 lakh two-wheelers, 1.25 lakh autos, about 3.5lakh cars and other vehicles. RTC city zone operates about 4000 metro and ordinary city buses. Though Metro rail service is available due to lack of connecting and pick-up buses the patronage is not to the expected capacity.

    Though vehicles can move max at 40kmph, but because of frequent traffic gridlocks, they cannot move move more than at 20 kmph. City buses cannot move faster due to rampant encroachments on roads.

    Perhaps similar conditions prevail in other cities too. In a city like Bangalore, there is the additional disadvantage of only one-way traffic facility on many main roads.

    As cellars in many mallls are used for trading and shops, often onefinds shoppers park vehicles on the road margins.

    Hence the need for strict implementation of building rules by the urban development authorities. In adjoining municipalities preplanning has to be done to visualise traffic growth over a five or ten year period.

    Removal of encroachments (including ramps that project onto the roads, shop projections, vendors and others on road margins, ad boards) and strict implementation of traffic rules would to some extent help in easing traffic chaos in cities.

    Staggered schoool and office hours etc was tried before but to no use. Imagine the days ahead when Nano cars hit the market and tw-wheelerists opt for the people’s car!

  5. Lubna (unregistered) on January 16th, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

    You are generous to be so polite about this. Without a proper transport system in place they cannot implement this.
    I mean, if I cant’ rush my parents to the hospital in an emergency because my car doesnt have the right number can I sue the authorities?
    There will be a mad scramble to buy another car – perhaps the Nano, with an alternative license number.

  6. anon (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

    Lubna, you dirty outsider, get lost. You outsiders come into bangalore and cause traffic jams. Go back to your village. Then you can take your parents to hospital by car. If it is an emergency, use an ambulance. In fact, selfish persons like yourself cause traffic jams and blocka ambulances

  7. anon (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

    Lubna, you dirty outsider, get lost. You outsiders come into bangalore and cause traffic jams. Go back to your village. Then you can take your parents to hospital by car. If it is an emergency, use an ambulance. In fact, selfish persons like yourself cause traffic jams and blocka ambulances

  8. Kumar (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 5:23 pm

    What the traffic department can do to reduce traffic congestion is:

    1. Phase out all vehicles that are over 15 years old. Ban the license of such vehicles and impose stiff fines.
    2. Ban all heavy vehicles from 7 to 11 a.m. and 5 pm to 8 pm on all main roads.
    3. Impose heavy fines (Rs 2500 minimum) on vehicles that jump lanes and traffic signals. The vehicle owner should be given a receipt listing the type of offence, name of the traffic constable or inspector and time of offence.
    4. Maintain an online database of traffic rule violators and cancel the license of third time offenders for five years.
    5. BAN REGISTRATION OF BIG SIZED CARS AND SUVs for the next six months.
    6. Cancel licences of auto drivers, who run without a license.
    7. Ask the politicians why IT and Tech PARKS WERE ALLOWED IN THE OUTSKIRTS. If people were given accomodation near IT parks, will they travel daily to and from the office to the city?
    8. Tell IT cos to shift their timings so that everybody leaves at 6 pm and clog the roads.
    9. Throw stupid ideas like “alternate day commute” to the dustbin.

  9. Kumar (unregistered) on January 17th, 2008 @ 5:26 pm

    Comment 8 should be read as:

    8. Tell IT cos to shift their timings so that everybody do not leave their office at 6 pm and clog the roads.

  10. Vidushi (unregistered) on January 19th, 2008 @ 9:05 am

    Good suggestions by Kumar for easing traffic congestion. If implemented it would be a great relief to vehicle drivers.

    There are a number of officials in the police department who operate autos, each 30 to 40, near railway stations, bus stations and the airport. There are many youths aged 15 to 18 years, including some school and college students, who drive autos without valid licences. By paying about Rs 2000 to 2,500 they manage to get licences circumventing rules through brokers.

    Some untrained youths and tractor and lorry drivers, agricultural farm hands from neighbouring districts reach the state capital at a place like Hyderabad and drive autos to earn a livelihood. Often they approach brokers for licences.

    There are many drivers who do not know road rules, driving basics and yet carry on. It is unlikely that police and transport authorities are unaware of it.

    RTC city services halt in the middle of the roads than in parking bays causing further traffic problems. This is so because vendors, hawkers, autos are parked at bus stops and parking bays. The civic authorities maybe knowing it but are incapable of taking action because of political forces.

    Helmet rule violations often take place. Some sections of people are ignored while others are penalised. Triple riding, double driving in nautos is common in many cities. Police and Transport authorities must be knowing.

    Traffic cops, instead of challaning traffic rule violators like lane jumpers etc regulate traffic on the beat, congestion can be eased.

    If hawkers, sop projections on nroads, parking in cellar rules alone rule, phasing out of 15 year old vehicles etc as suggested by kumar are implemented, traffic flow may be smooth.

  11. Kumar (unregistered) on January 19th, 2008 @ 11:40 am

    Thanks for the comment on my comment.

    There is more. In Koramangala, two intersections, one near BDA complex and another to 4th block, impedes traffic flow in the morning and evening. The problem is acute between 6-8 pm as it takes 20 minutes to travel from Koramangala water tank bus stop to the beginning of the Inner Ring Road. Nobody is bothered about this.

  12. Lubna (unregistered) on January 19th, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

    Oh wow, Anon. What a post. Have you been through a situation where you actually had to call an ambulance? I think not. Else you would not have written this. As for going back to where I came from or anyone of the bloggers came from, please go back and READ THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION.

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