A month after the Delhi government’s odd-even road rationing policy ended, many corporate firms in Gurgaon continue to arrange mass transport options for their employees. The public transport network and carpools have seen a spurt in demand after the odd-even experiment.
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi had experimented with the road rationing policy for 15 days starting from January 1 in an effort to reduce pollution caused by vehicles. During the 15-day-period, corporate firms in the city helped employees from Delhi commute to work by arranging carpools and shuttle services, and altering working hours.
But even after the experiment ended, most firms continue to promote mass transport systems by increasing their bus services for employees while some plan to replace cab pickups with shuttle services.
Information technology giant Nagarro, which has around 2,700 employees, had arranged 22 CNG buses for its employees when the policy was implemented. The company has increased the number of buses to 25, replacing over 50 cabs.
“The number of buses has been increased to 25 now. The company plans to do away with all cabs and shift to bus-pooling instead,” Megha Jha, public relations and communication representative of Nagarro, said.
IT industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) with over 175 members in Gurgaon also continues to promote eco-friendly concepts of transport.
In January, Nasscom had launched a unique database that would help companies to collaborate in sharing vehicles. Representatives of Nasscom said more employees of its member companies started opting for shuttle bus services or carpooling after the database was launched.
“There are several initiatives being implemented by the body as a whole even after the odd-even policy ended. Some of them include arranging shuttle buses and promoting car-free day (held every Tuesday). There has been a change in the attitude of people towards public transport, but the government needs to bridge the deficiencies in infrastructure for a complete shift to public transport,” Nidhi Gupta, regional manager (north) of Nasscom,said.
Similarly, over 1,000 employees of Snapdeal also use the bus services provided by the company. Snapdeal has also partnered with Shuttl and Ola to provide dedicated shuttle services for employees coming from various parts of the national capital region. Apart from the long-distance routes, the company also runs bus services to the nearest Rapid metro station with a frequency of five minutes during peak hours.
“We have partnered with Shuttl and Ola to provide dedicated shuttle services for our employees travelling from Dwarka, South Delhi, Noida, Faridabad, Kalindi Kunj and other parts of Gurgaon. About 1,000 employees avail these services. Apart from shuttle services to the nearest Rapid metro station, there are shuttle buses available to Dwarka Sector 9 Metro station as well and these buses run five round trips a day,” a spokesperson of Snapdeal said.
Many residents also continue to use carpools and the public transport network. They said it was relaxing and saved a lot of time.
“When the road rationing policy was introduced in Delhi, we decided to carpool and go to work. We still carpool and go to our offices in Noida,” Yashika Bathla, a city resident, said.
Another city resident Kunal said, “I work in Gurgaon and earlier I used my personal vehicle to get to office. After many of my friends stopped using their vehicles, I also opted for public transport options.”