Monday, November 05, 2012

Commuting Experience on Pune Bus Day (1st Nov 2012)

Pune Bus Day
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Sakal Times gave us another reason to feel patriotic - this time doing something worthwhile for the city on the occasion of The Pune Bus Day.

As expected, there was a lot of hype built around it. And for a good cause too this time. You can still see large sized banners across the city showcasing professionals, lawyers, students proudly proclaiming that they will "make the right choice" and they will "travel by Bus" on the 1st November.

PMC deployed about 2500 buses (private + state transport buses + Local buses) and chalked out new and direct routes - much to the convenience of the passengers. You can read more about that here and here.

This article is not just about that.

There was a lot of chat on the 1st November at my workplace, Mithi Software Technologies.  Lot of people came forward and commuted by Bus that day. Due to a last minute contingency, I could not be a part of it.

Therefore, I asked one of my good friends and colleague, Amol Kulkarni to share his commuting experience on The Pune Bus Day. He agreed to share his point of views and what should one look towards next time.

The Good Part:
1. While travelling in Bus on 'Pune Bus Day', there was an overall feeling of excitement and being a part of something good. 

2. Although there was a break journey in my travel to work in the morning, there was no waiting period as they had a high frequency of buses. But in the evening, I had to wait for some time, which was okay.

3. On any regular day, I have two main pain points with PMPML. First is their low frequency of buses, which resulted in huge waiting period. Another was poor condition of buses. However, yesterday both of these problems were eliminated as the buses had high frequency and were in good condition too.

4. I feel that this "Pune Bus Day" experiment is successful in the sense that people are willing to travel by bus if given proper infrastructure.

5. Pune has plans to contruct a Metro and a Ring road, which could potentially solve the traffic and congestion issues. This sadly will take years to start and finish. Therefore, the need of the hour is additional bus capacity in PMPML, which PMC should fill up, IMMEDIATELY.

Glaring concerns in the experiment:
1. Widen the roads to handle larger bus traffic: The Pune roads are not wide enough to handle the traffic of a large number of buses and many areas experienced traffic jams.

2. Don't just pump in buses, improve the bus routes too: Just blindly adding capacity in the current design of Transport Infrastructure will not be adequate - we need a better design. Currently it seems to be a Hub and Spoke design i.e., Corporation Depot being at the Hub, from where all the buses are routed. At the Spokes are smaller depots like Kothrud, Hadapsar areas. Due to a huge traffic passing through this Corporation Depot, it has become a nagging bottleneck. Indeed, PMC did experiment with some route design, but it had thought of keeping several hubs, the traffic congestion would have become more bearable.

Thanks for your inputs, Amol!

Although Puneites gave a thundering response to Pune Bus Day, and were excited to the core, there are some areas PMC needs to work on in the future to make this experience even better.

I just hope that this event does not end up being celebrated annually, like a Valentine's Day or a Father's Day or a Mother's Day. I sincerely hope PMC + Sponsers take up such initiatives more aggressively and more regularly to make Pune even better place to commute. I am pretty sure Puneites will continue supporting them!

Did you also use buses on the Pune Bus Day in Pune? What was your experience? What was good and what needed improvement? Do share in your comments below.


  1. Good experiment it seems, if so much enthusiasm was attached to it

    1. Yes, true Jayeeta! It was quite successful. Like Amol shared, it is now important that Pune Municipal Corporation does something from that learning!

      Else, that is exactly what it will remain - an experiment! :)

  2. Community experience on bus day is given in the post here. Useful information

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