Bengaluru is one of the most traffic congested cities in the world. Estimates suggest that traffic congestion costs Bengaluru Rs. 38,000 crore every year. While an increasing number of people are moving into the city, Bengaluru is not built for this influx. The end result is increased commute times, mental fatigue and loss of productivity. It is time that we, as citizens, take it upon ourselves to fix the issues we see in our city.
To further the goal of creating liveable cities, YLAC has joined hands with the #BengaluruMoving campaign and we have been exploring different initiatives under the partnership.
During Phase I (Aug – Sept 2020), we instituted the ‘Mobility Champions’ program and groomed 12 passionate young residents of Bengaluru to create a demand for better public transport and build support for scalable mobility solutions. We also launched a hackathon to tap the city’s talent pool for exploring tech solutions to Bengaluru’s mobility woes.
In Phase II (Jan – May 2021), we inducted the second cohort of 15 Mobility Champions and placed them in city neighbourhoods to work with civil society partners and RWA members to help improve mobility by supporting interventions under the Department of Urban Land Transport’s SuMA project. We also leveraged the surge in the uptake of cycling by curating audio-guided heritage rides for Bengaluru.
Our hope is that these interventions will help increase citizen engagement to, finally, get #BengaluruMoving!
Work Done so far
Through the Mobility Champions
In both phases of the collaboration between YLAC and #BengaluruMoving, we worked with selected Mobility Champions to build traction on promising policy solutions. The Champions narrowed their focus to sub-issues of urban mobility and curated policy briefs as knowledge resources for wider consumption. These briefs synthesize findings from secondary research and stakeholder consultations, while combining learnings from on-ground work in the communities of Bengaluru. They outline some concrete measures that can be adopted by policymakers and citizen groups to improve mobility in the city.
Given the surge in the uptake of cycling during the pandemic, we worked to leverage this boost by combining the idea of ‘heritage walks’ with cycling – Heritage Rides! We identified NMT conducive cycling routes around the city with points of interest/ heritage sites along them. The routes also feature local spots where you can relish some of the best Southern soul food that Bengaluru has to offer!
The Heritage Rides have been launched in collaboration with the Bengaluru SMART City Mission and are available as GPS-enabled audio rides through the HopOn India App – a platform that is designed to be a tour guide you can carry in your pocket! The tours are best enjoyed in the morning and may be downloaded from the HopOn app. Learn more here.
During Phase I, a hackathon was also organized to engage a wider audience around potential tech solutions to incentivize public transport usage among Bengaluru’s residents. Through the hackathon, we attempted to create a “Bengaluru Connectivity Index” – a scorecard to assess how accessible different areas of the city are by various transport modes. The idea was to create an interactive tool or product that can leverage available data sets, crowdsourced data, local knowledge, and elements of social media platforms to create a robust connectivity index, with the aim of assisting transportation agencies in improving connectivity in areas that need it the most!
You can read more about the hackathon here. The winners of the hackathon are currently working closely with the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to help incorporate some of the proposed features in their systems.