Pune-based NGO study says city’s public bus transport is in misery
There should be 55 public transport buses for one lakh commuters, according to the comprehensive mobility plan. Whereas in reality, the number of buses for one lakh commuters is half of what is given in the plan, says a report by non-governmental organisation (NGO), Parisar.
In order to ensure that the various urban transport projects are National Urban Transport Policy compliant, the ministry has in a March 2007 circular indicated that a comprehensive mobility plan should be prepared that focuses on the mobility of people rather than vehicles. The plan gives priority to pedestrians, non-motorised transport, all modes of public transport and intermediate public transport.
The report also points out various problems faced by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), including increase in number of breakdowns of buses, decrease in number of buses running on various routes in the city, and increase in number of accidents involving PMPML buses, among others.
In a bid to improve the service and quality of the public transport system in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, Parisar, after studying monthly reports of PMPML, from January 2016, to December 2018, has drawn up a plan.
The members of Parisar have presented the report to Nayana Gunde, PMPML chairman and managing director (CMD), and requested her to implement the solutions.
“Daily at least 11 to 12 lakh commuters from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad are dependent on PMPML bus service. Mainly students, people commuting to offices, small businessmen and senior citizens are dependent on the public transport system,” said Ranjit Gadgil, programme director at Parisar.
“The last year (2018) was challenging for the PMPML in terms of running the buses and maintaining them. So the productivity has gone down of PMPML and the number of buses running on the city roads has also decreased,” said Gadgil.
“Also, the number of daily commuters has decreased, as the number of buses running on various routes has gone down. We have found out the data after studying monthly report of PMPML of last three years,” he added.
Also, there is an increase in the daily PMPML bus accidents according to the findings of the report.
“It is affecting the daily income of the PMPML service and they have failed to attract new commuters. For both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad PMPML, the public bus service is necessary as there is no other option for affordable transport,” said Gadgil.
“So the administration should fix their goals for improving the bus service and accordingly work on it. They should focus on maintenance and repair of the buses and only then the numbers of buses on various routes will increase,” added Gadgil.
Talking about the report by Parisar, Nayana Gunde, PMPML chairman and managing director, said, “The life span of public transport buses is on an average 5 to 7 years, but that of PMPML buses it is 9.6 years.”
“Currently, we have at least 400 buses who’s life span is over and they are still running on city routes, while there is a problem of non-availability of spare parts too. We are following up the issue to get new buses from the civic bodies and I hope the situation will definitely improve, but we need some time,” Gunde added.
Parisar draws development plan for PMPML
Daily average number of commuters – 10,03,000
Average number of buses on routes – 1,405
Bus numbers, per 1 lakh commuters – 28.01
Serious accidents – 110
Major breakdowns of buses per month – 35.07
Daily average number of commuters – 10,06,000
Average number of buses on routes – 1,428
Bus numbers, per 1 lakh commuters – 27.09
Serious accidents – 127
Major breakdowns of buses per month – 34.01
Daily average number of commuters – 10,02,000
Average number of buses on routes – 1,367
Bus numbers, per 1 lakh commuters – 26.09
Serious accidents– 140
Major breakdowns of buses per month – 31.06
Issues to address
-Number of buses running on various routes has come down
-There should be 55 buses for 1 lakh commuters according to the comprehensive mobility plan. Whereas in reality, the number of buses for 1 lakh commuters is half of what is given in the plan.
-There is an increase in the number of accidents involving PMPML buses
-There is an increase in the number of bus breakdowns
- Regular maintenance and repair of buses
-Bring more buses on city routes
- PMPML should check the reasons for breakdown of buses and work on the same
- To attract new commuters, more routes need to be added and route rationalisation should be done on a priority basis
- Administration of PMPML should fix goals for next one year to improve the bus service, and accordingly work on the same
“The last year (2018) was challenging for the PMPML in terms of running the buses and maintaining them. So the productivity has gone down of PMPML and the number of buses running on the city roads has also gone down.”
-Ranjit Gadgil, programme director at Parisar
“Currently, we have at least 400 buses who’s life span is over and they are still running on city routes, while there is a problem of non-availability of spare parts too.”
-Nayana Gunde, PMPML chairman and managing director
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