Times of India, 16th July 2013
KOCHI: Despite the efforts of various agencies, alternative transport initiatives like carpooling and Bus Day have failed due to certain shortcomings and coordination issues. Both ideas were promoted to encourage public transport and ease the parking woes at offices. While Infopark took the lead and started carpooling, Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) went ahead with the Bus Day concept.
Companies at the Infopark blamed the disorganized manner in which the idea was implemented. They sought government support to promote the idea by providing carpooling stations, where people can wait, at various locations. “Carpooling is a practical idea. It can be successful if organized in an effective manner. We can link various stops and routes and run a service. For instance it is possible to connect areas such as Palarivattom, Kalamassery, Thammanam sine many employees reside in these localities,” said chief sustainability officer of Wipro Eco Eye initiative Ullas Ponnadi.
“Carpooling has succeeded in other cities. For implementing such a system here, a study should be conducted to prepare the route map along with the time schedule of employees. It would help if we know how many employees travel in a particular route so that we can synchronise travel on that particular route. To succeed, it has to driven by demand,” said T Elangovan, a scientist at National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (Natpac).
Meanwhile, Bus Day that was introduced with much fanfare in 2011 lasted five months. It ended abruptly after the company, which sponsored the initiative, wound up its operations in Kerala. “Coordination among various agencies and government departments was necessary for this idea to thrive. There was issue like resources for operating Bus Day,” said chairman of CPPR D Dhanuraj.
Meanwhile, Infopark CEO Hrishikesh Nair said that steps would be taken to popularize the carpooling concept and a meeting will be held in this regard soon with other major companies.