Surprise! Americans Want Public Transportation

Hot on the heels of debate over a new transportation spending bill, a new poll shows that most Americans want to see more funding for public transportation, and only drive because they have few better options.

In a survey commissioned by the transportation advocacy group Transportation For America (T4), pollsters asked Americans what priorities they’d like to see in an upcoming transportation bill that will replace 2005’s SAFETEA-LU.

It may come as a shock to anyone whose town’s main road features parking lots, strip malls and no mass transit to speak of that most Americans (82 percent) would like to see expanded public transportation that makes better use of rail and buses.

Similarly, though 73 percent of respondents said they have “no choice” but to drive most places, the majority said they’d rather be getting to work, school or vacation some other way — specifically, on a bus, on a bike or on foot.


Protest against Procurement of AC buses outside Council Hall

Lokayat, Pune Shahar Molkarin Sangathana and Shramik Mahila Morcha organised a protest outside the Council Hall in Pune against the decision of the PMPML CMD Dilip Band to purchase 200 AC buses for PMPML. The organisations, united under the banner PMPML Vachwa Kriti Samiti (Save PMPML Action Committee) organised this protest on 23 March, from 9 am to 11 am. The PMPML CMD has gone ahead with this decision ignoring an earlier resolution of the Board of Directors of PMPML which had decided to scrap the purchase of AC buses. Dilip Band has been arguing that the new buses being purchased are cheaper than the earlier variety of AC buses (30 lakhs as against 64 lakhs), and that these are necessary in order that conditions be created to shift car users to PMPML. The protesting organisations, in a memorandum to the CMD, argued that even then, these buses would be costlier by Rs. 7 lakhs each, which is one-third the price of an ordinary bus. And further, that the maintenance cost of AC buses and running costs are much higher than ordinary buses. Therefore, the bus ticket of these buses would be much higher than ordinary buses. This obviously means that these buses will run at a loss, and the loss would lead to an increase in the ticket of ordinary buses.

In the present circumstances, when PMPML does not have the required minimum number of buses needed  to cater to the needs of common people for a decent public transport service, purchasing AC buses is a waste of public funds. PMPML has just 1500 buses as against the recommended minimum of 3000 buses. Therefore, the PMPML should first focus on purchasing ordinary buses and try and serve the needs of common people, and then think of purchasing AC buses.

Further, the organisations have argued that under the present circumstances, if indeed the PMC and PMPML are serious about reducing the growing traffic congestion in the city, they should implement policies to reduce the growth of private vehicles in the city. Unless a holistic approach is taken, the car owners will never shift to  public transport system. But on the one hand, the PMC is adopting a policy of spending most of its transport budget on facilitating a further increase of private vehicles – by widening roads and building flyovers, a policy which also suits the builder lobby which today dominates the PMC. And on the other hand, it is talking of purchasing AC buses to prod private vehicle owners of shifting to public transport. Clearly, this is not going to happen. The organisations alleged that vested interests are involved in the decision to purchase private buses, and the arguments given by the CMD are an eyewash, given the overall approach of the PMC and PMPML to solve the transport woes of the city.

Lokayat organises protest against AC buses on Tuesday, March 23 outside Council Hall

Press Release


The Editors,

All Newspapers, Pune

Lokayat organizes protest against AC buses on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lokayat is organizing a protest against the decision of the PMPML CMD Dilip Band to restart the process of purchasing AC buses, despite the fact that the board of Directors of PMPML had earlier resolved to cancel the decision to purchase AC buses. It is well known that Dilip Band was closely involved in the earlier decision of PMPML to purchase AC buses, and it was only after vociferous protests by citizens’ groups that the decision had been cancelled. So it is obvious that there are powerful vested interests involved who want the AC buses to be purchased, without worrying about the impact it will have on the finances of the PMPML, and who have now installed their protégé Dilip Band as CMD so that the AC buses can be purchased at the earliest. Lokayat demands an enquiry by the CID into the whole affair to unearth the vested interests who want the AC buses purchased even if it means running the PMPML to the ground.

Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time: 9 am to 11 am

Venue: Council Office / Divisional Commissioner Office, Pune

Rally to protest one-way traffic on FC and JM roads


May this festival inspire us to increase our unity to fight for peace and justice in the world.

Here is an update of our coming programs.

1. Protest rally on World Car Free Day, Tuesday, Sept 22, 2009

Lokayat, in association with Pune Shahar Molkarin Sangathana, is organising a protest rally against the rapid growth of cars in the city, which is the main reason for transforming the Fergusson and Jungli Maharaj roads into one way roads, at great inconvenience to local people, pedestrians and cyclists. It is a decision based solely on making the roads of Pune more convenient for cars, which in turn would lead to an increase in number of cars and thereby lead to yet more traffic congestion. In protest against this short sighted decision by PMC and Pune Police , Lokayat is organising a protest on Sept 22, which is celebrated world wide as World Car Free Day.

Program: Rally to protest one-way traffic on FC and JM roads on World Car Free Day
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Time: 6.30 pm
Route: From Goodluck Chowk to FC road to JM road.

2. Shahid E Azam Bhagat Singh Birth Anniversary Celebrations

On June 26, Saturday, Lokayat is organising a cultural program to celebrate the birth anniversary of SHAHID BHAGAT SINGH.

Date: September 26, Saturday
Time: 6 to 8.30 pm
Venue:  Lokayat Hall, opp. Syndicate Bank, near Nal Stop, Law College Road, Pune.
Program: Play : Bushkyaoon… !!
Film: Inquilab  – biographical documentary on life and ideals of Bhagat Singh.
Dir. Gauhar Raza,    Duration 40 mins.

Do join us for both these programs.

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Seminar and Dharna and Protest march against proposed privatisation of PMPML


Dear friend,

As you are aware, the PMPML is proposing to buy 650 buses under the JNNURM, and along with this purchase, there is a proposal to restructure the PMPML. Under this proposed restructuring, it is proposed to:

  1. Buy 200 AC buses of these 650 buses.

  2. Handover all these 650 buses to private operators to be run by them on Public-Private Partnership basis.

  3. As a first step, handover 250 new buses and 38 routes to private operators to be run by them on monopoly basis.

Various citizen groups of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have come together to organize two seminars on this proposed restructuring of the Pune Municipality Parivahan Mahamandal Limited, one in Pune and one in Pimpri-Chinchwad, as we strongly feel that this goes against the interests of the citizens of the city for a good, cheap and efficient public transport system. The program schedule is as follows:

Seminar One:

Date: Monday, September 7, 2009 Time: 4.30 pm

Venue: Lokhande Sabha Gruh, near Phule Statue, Pimpri.

Seminar Two:

Date: Tuesday, September 8, 2009 Time: 6 pm

Venue: Shramik hall, Near Dengle Bridge, Near PMC bus stand, Pune.

This is to invite you to the seminar, as it is very important that all of us discuss these proposals in depth as the public transport system is the lifeline of the city.


This would be followed by a protest on Thursday, Sept 10, in which various activists and citizen groups from Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad are going to participate.

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Venue: PMPML Office, Swar gate.

On the same day, there would be a protest march from Corporation building to PMPML headoffice, which would join up with the activists sitting on the dharna.

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2009
Time: 3 pm to 5 pm

Do join us for these series of programs.

in solidarity,

Neeraj Jain
On Behalf of LOKAYAT

Type rest of the post here

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