SPTM's Pune Bus Day Survey

Results of traffic density surveys for Pune Bus Day


Sakaal had organized the "Pune Bus Day" (PBD) on 01st November 2012 with the objective of bringing the issue of bad public transport in Pune on the anvil. About 1,200 additional buses were arranged for one day and all Punekars were urged to travel by bus on PBD. SPTM decided to conduct an objective study of how the traffic density was affected because of this additional number of buses.

Method of SPTM's study

SPTM volunteers did a video recording of traffic on some roads in Pune on 31st October 2012. They repeated the recording at the same time on PBD. The vehicles were counted by replaying the recordings in slow motion.

Effective traffic densities in equivalent "PCU" (Passenger Car Units) as well as traffic load in "pphpd" (persons per hour per direction) were calculated using standard conversions. pphpd was also calculated for personal vehicles and buses separately. The results were compared for 31-Oct and 01-Nov. The deviation observed is shown in the table below.

Here is the raw data from the survey.

Chowk Change on PBD, in %
Location Time PCU pphpd-All pphpd-Personal pphpd-Bus
Ashoka Rd 17:20 5 1 6 -5
Bypass@WadgaonB 08:20 -12 -11 -12 -10
Chandni Chk 09:55 -3 1 -4 4
Hadapsar-Chrome 13:30 -10 -16 -9 -21
Karve-Mrityunjayeshwar 09:30 -2 -2 -2 0
Karve Road 09:36 -10 26 -16 86
Karve@Yatri 09:30 -14 -5 -16 17
Karve@Yatri 10:30 -2 21 -5 94
Kondh-Bibwe@Gangadham 16:00 10 26 8 125
Old Mumbai-Pune 19:50 -18 -9 -19 0
Paud-Anandnagar 11:00 -1 20 -5 59
Paud-Vanaz 13:30 0 32 -5 144
Paud-Krishna 19:15 2 32 -2 168
Paud-Cosmos Bk 19:40 0 17 -4 38
SB Rd-Audi 11:00 -7 -8 -6 -14
Baner Phata@Mainland China 19:05 64 99 58 160
Savarkar Bhavan 17:55 -7 32 -14 87
Bridge near Balgandharva 18:15 -6 -10 -6 -100
Shivajinagar 16:05 -7 9 -10 -26


Our observations are as follows:

  • Although there were lots of buses on the road on PBD, their distribution was not uniform. The number of buses on some roads was twice the usual, whereas on some other roads it was much the same as usual.
  • On several arterial roads like the old Mumbai-Pune Road, Solapur Road near Hadapsar, Bypass Highway and Senapati Bapat Road, the pphpd-all was less by about 10%-15%. This could either be because of the industrial holiday on Thursday or some people might have avoided leaving their homes if they could.
  • There were about twice as many buses on Karve Road, Paud Road, Kondhwa-Bibwewadi Road. Still the number of personal vehicles dropped by only about 2% to 10%. In general, although the number of bus schedules in the entire day was up by 70%, the bus ridership was up only by 30% or so.
  • SPTM volunteers did the observations for about 15 to 20 minutes. Yet, significant variation is observed in two observations just an hour apart.

One could draw the following inferences from these and other findings on PBD:

  • People in localities where the frequency of bus is not very bad otherwise are used to seeing a bus and travelling by bus. These people used the bus to some extent on PBD.
  • On the other hand, the frequency of buses in some localities, e.g. Senapati Bapat Road, is so low that more buses on PBD did not make much difference anyway. People in such areas are not used to the bus and did not take the bus on PBD.
  • The PBD experience varied a lot from person to person, time to time and location to location.

To summarize, one can say that only increasing the number of buses will not make much difference to the bus service. People will use the bus only if there are significant improvemets in the time taken for the bus commute, condition of buses and the bus service in general. For this to happen, it is necessary that the concerned officials from PMPML and PMC focus their thoughts, time and energy on improving the bus service before worrying about problems faced by personal vehicles. We have consciously not included "money" here, because money can be raised from various sources. These three things will have to come from the city itself!

The main objective of the Pune Bus Day was to make the city talkk about the bus. There is no doubt that this objective is achieved! "Sakal" and PMPML deserves a pat on the back for that!

The following people participated in the study, by way of either doing the recordings or even analyzing others' recordings. This whole exercise was a typical example of what we can do if we can pool our time!

Abha Kanade Amit Hiremath Anurag Kumar Arvind Deshpande
Bal Jog Desurkar Vinayak Dhananjay Kandalgaonkar Gayatri Limaye
Harshad Abhyankar Jayant Joshi Mahesh Kulkarni Manasi Hinge
Mandar Kulkarni Mayur Bhave Rajendra Sidhaye Roopa Deodhar
Sangeeta Jere Sayalee Pendharkar Suhas Gurjar Tejas Mulay
Umesh Jere Vartak M.S.