Want cleaner air, decongested roads in Pune, then increase ridership of PMPML buses

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Pune, May 18, 2019 : City-based NGO Parisar has launched online campaign demanding 25 percent increase in PMPML ridership by 2020 , for cleaner air, decongested roads in Pune. The NGO has written to Nayana Gunde, MD, Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), which runs the public transport buses in Pune.

Why is this important?

Are you aware that amongst all the sources of air pollution, vehicular emissions have the highest adverse health impacts?

The main hazardous pollutants of fossil fuels-based vehicular emissions are particulate matter (PM), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide(NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and greenhouse gases. Out of these, the fine and ultrafine PM is able to penetrate the cells of most organs and cause severe respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological illnesses and even premature death, especially in children and the elderly.

While Pune city’s population is approximately 3.5 million, the number of registered vehicles has reached 3.62 million. This explosive growth in vehicular population has meant an increase in vehicular emissions, and hence increased air pollution. Reducing the usage of private vehicles will reduce vehicular emissions to a large extent.

A robust public transportation system can address these issues and ensure that citizens have an option to use their personal vehicles. Shifting from cars to public transport can deliver a 65 per cent emissions reduction during peak times and a 95 per cent reduction in emissions during off peak times from the commuters that make the shift.

*The fuel consumption of a passenger travelling on a bus carrying 40 passengers is 4 times lower than the per passenger consumption of a car carrying 2 persons.

* Buses fare way better than cars even in terms of road space. Per passenger road space taken by a bus is 3 times lower than a car. Therefore, congestion increases when cars take up extra road space.

* Higher the congestion more is the time spent by vehicles on the road. The vehicle’s engines run longer, thus emitting more pollutants.

It has now become crucial for the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) to encourage citizens to shift from their personal vehicles and increase its ridership substantially by providing an efficient system – clean and comfortable buses deployed at regular intervals providing a safe and reliable journey to commuters.

The current average daily ridership of PMPML buses is around ten lakhs. The existing fleet of 1,978 buses, of which only 70% ply on any given day, falls woefully short of the number prescribed in the city’s own Comprehensive Mobility Plan. Breakdowns are frequent –almost 35 every day!

Along with Parisar, a civil society organisation working on making Pune city more liveable with a focus on sustainable urban transport, urge the PMPML to set a target and take steps to double their ridership in three years with a 25% increase each year.

Sign the petition urging the PMPML to commit to double the ridership in three years. There should bean increased bus force, efficient deployment and maintenance of buses and better management of routes to help achieve the long-term goal of clean air and a congestion-free Pune.

Here is the link of the petition –