If everything falls into place as per the plan chalked out by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), then commuters would get detailed information on routes of all the 4,340 PMPML bus stops in entire city. To do so, the public transport body has decided to install stainless steel signboards at all the bus stops in the city.
Commenting on the development, PMPML Joint Managing Director Praveen Ashtikar said Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), Janwani and several NGO’s would be are assisting the public transport body to achieve its goal. Ashtikar was addressing issues raised by citizen groups at a meeting organised by the Jugal Rathi of PMP Pravasi Manch and Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch. Most of the groups and citizens had expressed grievances over the poorly lit and ill maintained information boards in the city. Yatish Devdiga of Dhankawadi Nagrik Manch and Amol Deshpande of Nigdi Pradhikaran Citizens Forum also attended the meeting.
Ashtikar said, “There are 4,340 bus stops in the city. We are aware that currently there is no proper arrangement for passengers to seek route information at these stops. But with the help of NGOs and other organisations, we are addressing this issue. The tenders have been floated and we have received five responses till date. Soon, the financial bid will be opened following which Puneites can easily access updated route information at the bus stops.” He added that to maintain the information boards, the PMPML would sell space, below its logo, to advertisers. “The stainless steel boards will have a matt finish boards. In addition, LED display boards will be installed at the front and the rear side of buses to intimate passengers about the bus route,” Ashtikar said.
He also claimed that the PMPML was fourth best public transport service in the country following Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. “In Mumbai, the BEST administration recently got Rs 1,800 crore funding from the municipal corporation. But in Pune the situation is different. Losses incurred by the PMPML in 2012-13 are to the tune of Rs 62.63 crore. There is a difference of Rs 9.58 between earnings and running cost per kilometre for any of the PMPML buses. This revenue deficit needs to be taken care through viability gap funding means like advertisements,” Ashtikar said.