‘Road width needs to be looked into before introducing them’
The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has sought more dedicated lanes in the city for seamless and speedy movement of buses.
The Mysore city traffic police introduced a dedicated bus lane between the busy K.R. Circle and Hardinge Circle (nearly 1 km) on an experimental basis last week. This has encouraged the corporation to seek more such lanes.
KSRTC Divisional Controller (Urban Division) M.N. Srinivas told The Hindu that the traffic police had been requested to introduce more dedicated bus lanes at least in places where the traffic density was high so as to ease congestion, particularly during peak-traffic hours.
“It (bus lane) ensures seamless movement of buses apart from cutting travel time. Moreover, it helps us to serve the commuters better. There are dedicated lanes for buses in major cities and the one introduced in Mysore is a welcome step,” he said.
The road stretch between Hardinge Circle and Sanskrit Pathashala Circle is infamous for traffic congestions, especially near Doddakere Maidan (opposite the Mysore palace). Traffic jams are common here during peak hours. The density of heavy vehicles on this stretch has risen substantially. The poor condition of the road has added to the motorists’ woes.
“If traffic police identify places where bus lanes will be helpful, we can plan our schedules accordingly. We have already given our suggestions and requested the traffic police to consider them,” Mr. Srinivas said.
Apart from reducing road accidents, bus lanes would ensure that private vehicles too have a dedicated lane, he said.
“The traffic police should not allow other vehicles to ply on dedicated bus lanes. They have to strictly enforce the decision to improve traffic discipline among all motorists,” a source in the KSRTC said.
When asked about the KSRTC’s request for introducing more bus lanes, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishnuvardhan told The Hindu : “We need to identify the places and study the traffic density there before taking any decision. Road width is an issue that needs to be looked into before introducing more bus lanes. Let us see how the current arrangement works for some more time before taking any further decision.”
Bus services in Mysore have gone hi-tech after the introduction of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) or Mitra (Mysore Intelligent Transport). Mitra has been adopted at a cost of Rs. 23 crore. This gives real-time information on the arrival time of buses on intra-city routes, reducing the waiting time of commuters at bus-stops.
With a fleet of about 420 buses, the KSRTC’s Urban Division here operates over 6,000 trips a day. There is a demand from the citizens here for introducing more intra-city services.