Researchers of LEA Associates come up with interesting findings

It’s a vast sea of people who appear to be moving in unison, but in different directions. The State capital pulsates with movement as people spill out onto roads during morning and evening hours, which we euphemistically call the peak hours of traffic. Ever wonder who they are and where they are heading to?

Researchers of LEA Associates tried to understand at least part of the topic under discussion, when they studied the movement of floating population in Hyderabad Metropolitan Area (HMA) comprising the capital city and its burgeoning suburbs. And the results are, indeed, interesting.

Traffic management

The researchers stationed themselves at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) in Gowliguda, the largest bus station terminal in Asia, the Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad, railway stations at Secunderabad, Kachiguda and Nampally and at some hotels and spoke to people who were either arriving or leaving Hyderabad. Here is the gist of the painstaking research, which the authorities hope to use, for putting in place a traffic management system which could go a long way in improving our quality of life.

The findings are indeed surprising. More than half of the floating population constituted the working class, both full-time or part-time employees, self-employed and the daily wage earners. Students too constituted another major chunk of 32 per cent.

Some 17 per cent of the visitors come to the city on business work. Interestingly, 11 per cent of people who were questioned told researchers that they came to Hyderabad on a social visits, while another 10 per cent for entertainment or recreation.

The study, taken up on behalf of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) was part of the Comprehensive Transportation Study (CTS).

The study also showed that the purpose of visit for the floating population was schools (7 per cent), health (5 per cent) and shopping (3 per cent). Another four per cent were job seekers.

The researchers define floating population as a group of non-residents who come for specific purpose from outside, spend time and most importantly perform trips in the study area together with resident population.

Spending habits

An interesting fact that has come to light is the spending habits of this mass of floating population. Half of the sample which came from suburban regions and move for less than two hours spend less than Rs. 50.

Those coming from villages in neighbouring districts and spending more than two hours were found to be spending Rs.100 or more on travel alone.

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