B.PAC and WRI India launch Personal2Public campaign to promote public transport use

The campaign, launched in collaboration with civil society groups and corporates, announces the Bengaluru commuter survey.

ByDeeksha Devadiga

Published Jul 14, 2023 | 7:00 AM Updated Jul 14, 2023 | 7:00 AM

B.PAC and WRI India launch Personal2Public campaign to promote public transport use

The Bangalore Political Action Committee (B.PAC) and the India chapter of the World Resources Institute (WRI) launched the #Personal2Public campaign to inspire commuters to use public transport at least twice a week.

At the Bengaluru Press Club on Thursday, 13 July, representatives from several corporate organisations and citizen groups attended the launch.

It said #Personal2Public was a sincere attempt to bring together corporates and citizen groups and proactively work with all stakeholders

The much-awaited metro lines to some of the congested parts of Bengaluru city — Whitefield and Electronic City — will become operational this year. The new metro lines can significantly reduce traffic congestion to and from these areas.

This, said the campaigners, underscored the need to make the metro and other public transport modes more viable to decongest the city further and reduce air pollution.

Also read: Karnataka’s free bus for women hit by smear campaigns

Last-mile connectivity

Some of the factors that impact metro usage, for instance, include the lack of reliable first and last-mile connectivity and time spent waiting for suitable modes of transport.

Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India claims to provide objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development.

Research from an upcoming WRI India-Toyota Mobility Foundation working paper shows that walking and low-cost shared modes are the most popular last-mile means of transport among metro commuters.

The research also apparently indicates that commuters consider the metro viable if they can access it within a specific time.

Reducing traffic congestion and providing convenient and affordable last-mile solutions will be key to getting more people to use the metro.

Based on the study, B.PAC has introduced the “#Personal2Public Bengaluru Commuter Survey“, which seeks to analyse commuter travel patterns and identify gaps in metro access.

While open to all, the survey will specifically solicit participation from commuters and residents in the Whitefield, Mahadevapura, Electronic City, and Outer Ring Road (ORR) areas.

The results of the survey will be mapped to available data analytics, with the Personal2Public team presenting actionable solutions, both at the city and station level, to key representatives from BMRCL, BMTC, BBMP and DULT.

Also read: How B.PAC is building citizen participation in politics, policy

Survey and solution

Speaking exclusively to South First, Revathy Ashok, honorary managing trustee & CEO of B.PAC, said: “While we have been pushing connectivity for a while now, this is the time where we can honestly launch this programme and there is a good reason for people to pick it up.

She added: “So far, lack of connectivity would hinder our plans. The first and last-mile connectivity issue needs to be addressed, and we are working with the government and private sectors and autorickshaws for that.”

The launch, at the Bengaluru Press Club, was attended by representatives from several corporate organizations and citizen groups. (Supplied)

At the press conference, Ashok urged commuters to shun personal vehicles and adopt public transport for at least two days a week, given how the metro lines were being extended.

WRI India Fellow Srinivas Alavilli said: “With this campaign, what we are trying to achieve is collecting this information with all of the research work done by both B.PAC and WRI. We have collected information about walking, cycling, and commuting issues in the city, but the survey will bring the citizens’ voice.”

He added: “We are building a coalition of all stakeholders — including the corporate companies — of Bengaluru in an effort that is a first in the history of any city in India. More than 100 companies have formed a sustainability ecosystem collaborative.”

Speaking at the press conference, Auto Rickshaw Drivers Union (ARDU) General Secretary Rudra Murthy announced the launch of MetroMitra, a sister app to NammaYatri which is expected to act as a unique solution to complement and boost Namma Metro ridership through reliable first and last-mile connectivity.

The ARDU has already initiated the development of MetroMitra as a mobility seller app to operate on the ONDC network.

“The pilot phase will commence soon and eventually well trained professional MetroMitra drivers will ply the autorickshaws on meter fare plus a flat ₹10 charge to cover technology and trip pickup costs,” said Rudra Murthy.

Also read: What saving on bus fare could mean to women in Karnataka