‘Bus Day’ in Pune a huge success
21 November 2012 - There was a festive atmosphere from residents of Pune, India, on 1 November, as around 2,500 buses were deployed all over the city to celebrate ‘Pune Bus Day’, which encouraged commuters to make the Smart Move and abandon their private vehicles and use public transport in a bid to solve the city’s worsening traffic mess.
"This is nothing short of a miracle for Pune. I took a bus from my home to my shop in just 8-9 minutes - it takes me between 30-40 minutes daily to traverse the 8km distance," reported a delirious Firdaus Vakharia from a bus zipping through Pune University area.
A pleased Abhijit Pawar, Managing Drector of Sakal Media Group, also took a bus from home to work, a distance of some 4km and was surprised to see the bus reach speeds of around 70 kmph - something unheard of in Pune in more than a decade. "I can confidently say that more than two-thirds of the two million morning commuters have responded to the initiative by hopping onto buses. This is like an advance Diwali gift for the city."
A majority of the two-, three- and four-wheel vehicles remained off the roads as part of the citizen-driven initiative with the active participation of all sections of society, ranging from school and college students, corporate executives, politicians, judges, government workers and celebrities.
ore than 15,000 volunteers were on the roads at dawn in the early winter chill to guide the bewildered commuters - many of them seeing the inside of a city bus for the first time in their lives.
"Every day, 730 new vehicles, or 22,000 per month, pour onto the limited 2,000-km long road network. There are 23,000 two-wheelers, around 8,000 four-wheelers, and some 70,000 autorickshaws and other types of vehicles," Pune Deputy Commissioner of Police said.
Some people experienced problems with bus connectivity or frequency and were therefore the only ones compelled to bring out their two-wheelers or three-wheelers, but organisers hope to address this next year.
Read more on the Sakal Times | Pune Bus Day Community