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Brand Bengaluru: Karnataka govt seeks to collect fees on traffic-congested roads in IT hub

The Karnataka government is considering implementing road fees on busy Bengaluru streets to promote public transport and ease traffic congestion. A report by IISC and RIM suggests parking policies, traffic fees, and comprehensive traffic management. Public feedback from the Brand Bengaluru program informs these recommendations.

Brand Bengaluru: Karnataka govt seeks to collect fees on traffic-congested roads in IT hub vkp
First Published Sep 6, 2023, 10:09 AM IST

The Karnataka government is considering to implement road fees on the city's busiest streets to encourage people to use public transportation and reduce private vehicle usage. This move aims to alleviate traffic congestion in the city.

To develop this plan, a report has been submitted to the government. The report was jointly prepared by the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) and the Ramaiah Institute of Management (RIM). It suggests several measures to address traffic congestion in Bengaluru, including the enforcement of parking policies, the introduction of traffic fees on crowded roads, and the creation of a comprehensive traffic management master plan.

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The government initiated the Brand Bengaluru program, which invited public opinions and suggestions for improving the city's traffic system. In response to this initiative, the state government assigned the task of compiling these suggestions into a detailed report to IISC Professor Ashish Verma and RIM Professor Meghna Verma. This report has now been submitted to the Bengaluru Urban Development Department.

The report received a total of 10,479 responses from the public between June and August. After eliminating irrelevant submissions, 6,075 responses were considered. These responses were categorized into three main topics: active mobility, bus and metro, and road and traffic.

To address the growing issue of traffic congestion expected in the city in the coming years, the report recommends the development and periodic updating of a suitable master plan and applicable transport plan. These plans would be essential in effectively managing traffic congestion. Furthermore, the report suggests the implementation of a strong parking system, the comprehensive enforcement of parking policies, and the collection of parking fees.

The report also stresses the need for the effective implementation of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) and encourages the adoption of environmentally friendly transportation options, such as electric vehicles, bicycles, buses, and the metro. It supports improved connectivity between metro stations and various neighbourhoods through buses and other modes of transportation, along with the establishment of sufficient electric vehicle charging stations.

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The report proposes adopting a congestion charge model similar to London's, where vehicles on congested roads are required to pay a fee. This measure can help alleviate traffic congestion. Additionally, the report highlights successful traffic management models from other cities, such as converting specific roads into pedestrian zones, and suggests implementing similar approaches in Bengaluru.

The key recommendations of the report are:
- Promoting the use of public transport
- Implementing a revenue-sharing system between the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and the metro to improve feeder services
- Increasing the number of bus trips to enhance bus service speed
- Extending the Bengaluru Suburban Rail Project to neighbouring areas
- Encouraging bicycle use as an alternative to motor vehicles
- Implementing mixed land-use development plans to reduce the need for travel for shopping and other activities
- Upgrading traffic signals
- Developing pedestrian-friendly roads.

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