The media group, Sakal, took the initiative to plan a ‘Pune Bus Day’ to highlight and publicize the need for a better bus service, bring together a wide array of stakeholders to support the effort and run almost twice the number of buses on November 1, 2012 with an appeal to people to use the city bus instead of their own vehicle on that day. The whole event was planned in partnership with PMPML, the city bus service provider. Parisar conducted a couple of independent surveys (user feedback survey and traffic count survey) to assess the impact of the event. The results show an overall high level of satisfaction with the concept, but as expected, there was only a slight decrease in the other traffic on that day.
Parisar has in the past urged the Pune Municipal Corporation to consider having a ‘Car Free Day’ (in the context of Indian cities, this would imply both a car and two-wheeler free day). The city of Pune has however not been keen to take up such a project, mainly for the fear of a backlash from the already large segment of population that is addicted to personal motorized modes of transport.
In this context the effort of the Sakal media group was to try and encourage the use of public transport on one day, by launching a massive campaign, while not mandating it, since such authority only vests with the city.
Parisar decided measure traffic at two main spots in the city on the Bus day itself, as well as three days prior to it, to quantify the change in traffic. This was done using video filming and then counting the traffic.
Sample 5 minute clip taken on Ganeshkhind road (morning) on 1st November (Pune Bus Day)
There was generally a 5-10% decrease in other motorized traffic (other than in the morning at the Paud road location)
Parisar also conducted individual surveys of people travelling by bus as well as by private vehicles to get feedback on what people thought about the Pune Bus Day experience.
Regular bus users thought the experience was generally better on the Pune Bus Day.
Those using the bus specifically for Pune bus day also thought largely that the experience was positive.
For data collected from the surveys, click here.
A detailed report of the findings can be downloaded for further details.