Monday, October 15, 2012

Save bus campaign groups in India demand free bus travel

Pune is one of India's largest cities with over 5.5million people. Inspired by news of free buses in China (see our earlier reports) combined commuter groups are protesting announced fare hikes & demanding government action.

PUNE: The 'PMP Bus Seva Bachao Abhiyan' - an initiative taken by city based bus commuters groups to save the city bus transport, has cited the example of how China has taken steps to encourage people to choose public transportation.

 The commuters groups have circulated emails to the officials of Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad municipal corporations saying that only increasing the bus fleet is not enough and that bus transport should be economical, efficient, safe and affordable for common people. The commuter groups have attached media reports with their emails describing how China has made bus travel free to encourage public transport. The report says the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, has waived bus fares and offered discounts on metro fares. A spokesman with the Chengdu Municipal Public Transport Group Corp, has said that the free bus fare policy will remain in effect until June 30 next year.

Around 15 bus commuters groups who are participating in the PMP Bus Seva Bachao Abhiyan had recently held protests at several places in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad after the city bus transport company - PMPML - announced its decision to increase bus fares. The bus commuters groups have also asked the state government to intervene and impose a stay on the increase in bus fares.


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