Shillong continues to face daily traffic jams whose peak reaches during school and offices start and at conclusion.
Every day 13 new cars and 14 two-wheelers vehicles join the already congested traffic, as per Transport Department data of year 2021. On top of that, 60 per cent of school students commute by private vehicles to their respective institutions.
To address the traffic issues in the city, the State government has launched North East’s first shared buses for Urban Transport under STEMS (Sustainable Transport and Efficient Mobility Society) where 30 buses have been procured in January this year.
The buses which come with pre-booking of seats, especially school children and office goers are also installed with security features like CCTV and GPS-based tracking.
By taking this action, it has been made sure that individual cars are not required to pick up or drop off children at school.
According to officials, one bus can replace 15 cars, which means that during peak hours, 30 buses can eliminate 450 cars on roads. This will go a long way towards clearing up the city’s traffic.
The Shared Buses for Urban Transport programme was launched by the Planning Department with the aim to decongest school traffic by 75 per cent and reduce CO2 emissions by 72 per cent for schools’ trips.
The State government’s effort to reduce traffic congestion in Shillong by introducing a shared bus system has been applauded by the Meghalaya High Court.
At a recent hearing, the division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Wanlura Diengdoh commended the State government’s attempt to purchase a sizable number of buses for the transportation of school children.
The High Court also lauded the government for quickly procuring the buses for transporting school children.
“The most commendable aspect of the matter is the short time within which an initiative has been taken to procure a large number of buses for ferrying school children and to ensure that individual cars do not have to come to drop the children to school or pick them up thereafter,” the court said.
Commenting on the High Court’s observations Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that he was glad to see that the High Court commended the State government’s initiative to introduce 30 buses for school children and office goers in January of this year.
“Our government’s determination to take advantage of the more recent kind of shared mobility has led to a groundbreaking scheme where numerous schools and offices share government-purchased buses. School buses are typically underutilised, but in North East India, our government-owned shared buses are one of the first of its kind. With features like GPS tracking, CCTV cameras, and trained workers, we anticipate that this system would not only reduce traffic congestion but also assure the safety and security of students attending schools,” Sangma said.
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