With Music, Message and the Yatra, Citizens to Celebrate Bus Priority Lane

Bengaluru: Social media platforms are abuzz with catchy posters, videos and messages promoting the usage of buses on the busy Outer Ring Road where the government recently introduced bus priority lanes. On Wednesday, a number of citizens groups including Citizens for Bengaluru, Whitefield Rising and Bellandur Jothege will hold #NimbusExpress Bus Yatra, in support of government’s initiative to promote buses and also raise awareness among other motorists. 

The Bus Yatra will begin simultaneously at two spots on the ORR: a bunch of citizens will start their journey from KR Puram at 9am, while the other group will leave from Central Silk Board. These participants of the campaign will head towards Marathahalli in different buses and assemble at Ecospace Skywalk, the organisers said. 

City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ravikanthe Gowda, BMTC Chairman Nandish Reddy, BMTC Managing Director C Shikha, BMTC Director Anupam Agarwal, Film Actor Chetan have extended support to the campaign with the promise to be present at the #BusYatra. 

The organisers have also reached out to CEOs, executives and employees of multinational companies and startups that are located on the 18-km stretch. 

“Bus priority lane project is Bengaluru’s fight against traffic. The objective of this bus yatra is to raise awareness and encourage compliance so that it becomes habit and success and that it can be a model of adoption across the city,” Srinivas Alavilli, one of the organisers said. 

The organisers are pushing for the bus priority lane, stating that: buses carry lot more people (70 at a time) and therefore they deserve to have more access to the road space. “Each bus takes up space of three cars but carries capacity of 30 cars. Buses are the best available solution to move more people.” 

“Bus priority lane will allow more commuters to reach their workplace faster, improving their morale and productivity and their work-life balance. As a car and motorbike users realise this, they may also be incentivized to switch to the faster, less stressful buses. This will reduce the volume of vehicles, hence reduce traffic congestion and jamps. As speed of buses improves, buses can complete more trips and be available to commuters more frequently,” Alavilli said. 

The recent commuter experiments, conducted over multiple days of the week, have shown that the buses running on the bus priority lane take less than a private car to travel from KR Puram to Ecospace on the ORR, travelling at peak hours in the morning. “This validates and confirms the need for dedicated bus lane corridors to reduce congestion, improve commute time and air quality.” 

During the NimbusExpress Yatra, the organisers plan to bring to the notice of authorities about the need for more signage, last mile connectivity and solutions for safety for pedestrians, cyclists and two wheelers.