Government considers ban on registration of new vehicles in Bengaluru ? Residents skeptical of such move

There are news articles that the state government is considering a ban on registering new vehicles in Bengaluru. However, residents are skeptical of any such move.

A proposal to ban registration of all new vehicles for the next two years has received mixed reactions from the traffic experts and public. This is being considered by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara, who is also the Bengaluru Development Minister.

Even as people grapple with never-ending traffic jams, there are new proposals being mulled by the government. Two experts, Professor Ashish Verma and Ashwin Mahesh, speak to TNIE on best possible solutions to handle city’s traffic woes.

Traffic expert Ashish Verma, associate professor, transport engineering laboratory, civil engineering department, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said that though calling for a ban is a good idea, the plan won’t work unless worked out with various other combination of solutions. “The number of private vehicles is increasing every year by at least 5 per cent, and this is a major source of traffic congestion. But this ban will work only if it is coupled with other steps,” Verma said.

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Verma added that it will be hypocrisy on the government’s part if it continues its elevated corridor project where it is making roads for the use of more vehicles.

FOCUS ON EXTENDING METRO  - Instead of marketing bad solutions like elevated corridors and pod taxis as wonderful systems, the government should extend Metro rail network. For a city like this, there has to be 200 to 250 km of Metro but we don’t have that. Cities like London and Paris have this with almost the same kind of population. Also, the mindset seems to be that “we will provide you a world-class facility. But once you step out of your station, how you manage to get to your destination is your headache”. This needs to change.

PROVIDE E-RICKSHAW SERVICES - If you get a system in place, you can run autorickshaws as feeder systems of shared basis a an affordable price. E-rickshaws will provide excellent door-to-door service. Instead of complaining about more cars, if you provide quality ridership options that are more attractive, people will definite shift.

Make way for pedestrians - Footpath infrastructure is terrible. One can learn from cities like Zurich. The trams in Zurich are an example of public transport providing almost end-to-end connectivity. We need to demand such facilities. Connect every 60 feet road to another making it easy for people to walk. Have separate cycling tracks and encourage cycling.

SHOULD INVEST IN ITS CITY’S BUSES - For a population of one crore, we have 6,500 buses. There should be 120 buses for one lakh people. So the total fleet should be 14,000. Moreover, public buses in American countries reach places that aren’t covered by their rail system. It should think of fare scheme like Hopper, which allows passengers to get on another bus for free within an hour after the beginning of their first ride.

GESTION TAX is the key - Private vehicles should be discouraged by high parking fees and a congestion tax. While cities world over have made parking prohibitively expensive to discourage car use, it remains low or free in Bengaluru. Another significant move, but a political hot potato, is the introduction of a congestion tax, which seeks to discourage private vehicles from entering popular routes. This will also generate revenue worth hundreds of millions of rupees.



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