The 80-year old English daily from Sakal Media Group, Sakal Times has initiated a movement that aims to reduce traffic congestion in Pune city and establish an effective bus transport system in two years time. The movement kicks off today the 1st of November through a celebration called ‘Pune Bus Day’ (PBD).
Pune, the seventh largest city in India has 31 lakh vehicles, which interestingly is more than the number of vehicles in Mumbai at 21 lakhs. For ‘Pune Bus Day’ today, Sakal Media Group has rented 1,500 private buses to supplement the existing fleet of 1,650 PMPML (Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited) buses, the city public transport utility.
This increased number of buses would lead to a higher frequency thereby encouraging more people to board buses and thus reduce traffic congestion for the 70 lakh citizens of Pune. The idea is to demonstrate how the use of optimum number of buses with high frequency can actually help reduce traffic woes in the city.
PBD is being supported by teachers, politicians, bureaucrats, corporates, judges, police officers, PMPML employees as well as other associations like the Domestic Household Help Association, Barbers Association, Labour Unions and Hawkers Association.
Pune Bus Day has an ambitious social media strategy too. An active Facebook community page and a Twitter page complement the dedicated website for PBD by Sakal Times. The Facebook page that was launched just 2 months ago has received an overwhelming response with nearly 55k likes. Twitter, started a month ago, has more than 100 followers including me. And together, the two social media platforms are striving hard to make this day a success and provide a strong foundation for this historic change.
For a live coverage of PBD, you can follow Twitter updates with the hashtag #PuneBusDay or #PBD, else tune in to Radio City 91.1 FM, if you are on the go.
So, if you are travelling in Pune today, board a bus and join the movement!