Bengaluru experiences the worst traffic jams in the world. According to a report by TomTom, the Netherlands-based global provider of navigation, traffic, and map products, Bengaluru became the most traffic-congested city in the globe in 2019.
The rapid development in the city, influx of many vehicles from different parts of the country has resulted in heavy traffic. Bengaluru’s vehicle population crossed the 80 lakh mark last year. The end result is increased commute times, mental fatigue, and loss of productivity.
To further the goal of creating liveable cities, Young Leaders for Active Citizenship (YLAC) in partnership with Let Me Breathe and WRI India, has joined hands with the #BengaluruMoving campaign to help reduce vehicular emissions and congestion in Bengaluru.
The immediate action plan for the year is to focus on efficient public transportation, including bus lanes, and designing solutions to increase uptake of public transportation among residents.
For this, Bengaluru Active Citizenship Labs – a 45-day engagement program from 25th July to 5th September 2020 has been constituted wherein 10-12 passionate young residents of Bengaluru will be groomed as Mobility Champions to amplify the key messages of the #BengaluruMoving Campaign.
The Mobility Champions will use a mix of engagement tactics to build support for promising mobility solutions among policymakers. In parallel, a hackathon will be organized to engage a wider audience around potential tech solutions to incentivize public transport usage among Bengaluru’s residents. In addition to undertaking research and advocating for solutions with policymakers, the Mobility Champions will also be ambassadors for this hackathon.
Sudeept Maiti, Senior Manager, Integrated Transport at WRI India said, “Improving Bengaluru’s mobility issues will require participation at different levels and through different stakeholders. Meaningful public engagement is an important first step at addressing these concerns, and getting more citizens onboard our public transit systems. The Mobility Champions represent a great initiative to involve Bengaluru’s youth in the issues that affect them on a daily basis.”
“The Mobility Champions initiative with the #BengaluruMoving campaign is an important first in many such initiatives that YLAC plans to undertake under its Active Citizenship Labs. The goal is to get citizens to take an active part in shaping their lives by constructively engaging with the issues that affect them,” said Rohit, Co-founder of YLAC.
He added, “Bengaluru, and many other cities in India, are plagued by mobility issues that have drastically reduced the liveability of our cities. And the government alone can’t fix the problem. Its a massive problem that needs technical solutions and better urban planning, but also behavioral change and common action by citizens. At the core of the solution, therefore, we believe, is active citizenship.”