Wednesday, February 1

Kolkata: Night bus services set to make rides safer in Sec V

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Enthused by the response to IT special bus services from Ultadanga, the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) has decided to extend the night bus service to the city’s IT hub — till Sector V as of now and New Town in the coming days. The service would benefit a workforce of 60,000 employees.

“Since all new buses are fitted with CCTV cameras and panic buttons, they are absolutely safe for women workers. One can keep a watch on these buses from the control room and police on-duty at night have standing instruction from the commissioner to intercept and check any of the buses at any point of time,” said a senior WBTC officer.

WBTC already runs night services tha connects major transit points like Howrah, Sealdah, Chitpore, airport and bus termini at Karunamoyee, Esplanade, Kankurgachhi, Ultadanga, Barasat, Barrackpore, Garia, Jadavpur, Shyambazar, Belgachhia, Patuli, Joka, Ballygunge. Besides, the service touches upon crematoria, burial grounds, hospitals and night markets.

“It would be of immense help for IT workers. It is more relevant now when majority of IT companies, which run 24×7, are on a cost-cutting mode because of financial issues. They have started withdrawing the pick-up and drop off facility. Often, pick-ups and drops become a huge security headache for the companies. There is nothing better if the transport department runs bus services which are safe, economic and efficient. Moreover, these services, I hope would be integrated with rest of the night bus network, so that people can reach their homes safely,” said Kalyan Kar, vice-president of IT-hub stakeholders’ association.

According to Kar, many firms would like to enter into a corporate tie-up with WBTC if the service is stable and consistent. “The companies may buy smart cards for employees and guarantee sustenance of the service,” said Kar.

WBTC officers have already carried out a survey to assess the demand. “We will meet the stakeholders to know where the buses can be parked and where the stops will be. Since the nature of traffic at night is different, the stopover points will vary,” said another officer.

“If there is enough demand, autos will be there to provide the last-mile connectivity to commuters’ doorsteps,” said Meghnad Poddar, president of the auto operators’ unions in south Kolkata.

Source: Times of India

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