Mumbaikars spend an average of 230 hours per year waiting for a bus

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Commuters in India are spending an average of 45 minutes traveling one way as compared to 33 minutes spend by commuters in US on the one way daily travel. Commuters in Mumbai spend an average of 138 minutes, 2.3 hours everyday traveling to work while those in Delhi spend 1.7 hours. Though average both ways travel time for Delhi is relatively less than that of Mumbai, carbon dioxide emissions for the capital stand at  10,305.60 gms as compared  7,043.64 gms in Mumbai.

But before we go into more details let us understand what traffic congestion is –

Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing.  As demand approaches the capacity of a road (or of the intersections along the road), extreme traffic congestion sets in. Traffic congestion can lead to drivers becoming frustrated and engaging in road rage.

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Traffic congestion, jams occur when there are more cars on the road than the road was originally designed for.  One might think that increasing the road capacity might ease this congestion but according to a 2011 study in the The American Economic Review, researchers from the University of Toronto and the London School of Economics, analyzed data from the U.S. Highway Performance and Monitoring System for 1983, 1993 and 2003, as well as information on population, employment, geography, transit, and political factors. They determined that the number of vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) increases in direct proportion to the available lane-kilometers of roadways. The implication is that building new roads and widening existing ones only results in additional traffic that continues to rise until peak congestion returns to the previous level.

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Instead Economist Anthony Downs argues that rush hour traffic congestion is inevitable because of the benefits of having a relatively standard work day ( too many people having the same routine, too many people using the same limited utilities). Downs advocates greater use of road pricing to reduce congestion (a demand-side solution, effectively rationing demand), in turn plowing the revenues generated therefrom into public transportation projects. Yes, he suggests that if people start paying for their road usage then perhaps traffic congestion might decrease. While we have already seen this implemented in the country in the form of toll booths on newly constructed highways, one wonders how the people who use cars as their main means of transportation, 56.57% in Delhi versus 25% in Mumbai, might react to this. 

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There are more people on roads, there are more cars on roads, than there were in the previous years and with every passing year these are going to increase and increase. Below are a few negative impacts these increasing numbers and traffic congestion have – 

  • Wasting time of motorists and passengers.
    – As a non-productive activity for most people, congestion reduces regional economic health.
    – Delays, which may result in late arrival for employment, meetings, and education, resulting in lost business, disciplinary action or other personal losses.
    – 
    Inability to forecast travel time accurately, leading to drivers allocating more time to travel “just in case”, and less time on productive activities.
  • Environment Downside
    Wasted fuel increasing air pollution and carbon dioxide emissions owing to increased idling, acceleration and braking.
  • Delays in Emergency situations
    – Blocked traffic may interfere with the passage of emergency vehicles traveling to their destinations where they are urgently needed – ambulances, fire brigades, police help etc.
  • Stress
    – Stressed and frustrated motorists, encouraging road rage and reduced health of motorists
    – Higher chance of collisions due to tight spacing and constant stopping-and-going.

We think the most negative impact is the waste of time lost in commuting from one place to another. As real estate prices soar and people live farther and farther away from their work, a lot of time is lost not just in commuting but also waiting for the mass transit modes. People in Mumbai who take the bus everyday to work spend an average of 19 minutes waiting as opposed to the 6 minutes spent by the people in Delhi. 19 minutes spent waiting for a one way trip, everyday, accumulates to 13870 minutes an year, which is a total of 230 hours. Add to this the average 71 minutes one way travel time by buses, which totals to 863 hours in an year for the average Mumbaikar. 

Solutions and suggestions have been made aplenty and mostly revolve around improving the road structure, better urban planning and design, controlling the supply and demand both of people and cars. But the problem with these solutions is that they will take time to implement and take an even longer time to show positive results. And, ironically it is only time that we do not seem to have. 

A present day solution to this problem is the availability of accurate real-time commute information, a solution already adopted and implemented in the western world. On our side of the fence, while we wait for the administration to modernize the entire commute infrastructure, small steps are being taken by varied entrepreneurs to provide solutions to connecting and commuting problems. On demand cab and taxi services are on a rise and a small initiative has been taken by us, at zophop, to provide real-time bus information for 15 cities in India.

Using the Check-In feature, this crowdsourced effort gives better information each time more people use it. You can now view buses in real-time and get ETA to your stops too – 

A bus moving in real-time in Mumbai

A bus moving in real-time in Mumbai

Number of buses with real time information at 10:07 in Mumbai

Number of buses with real time information at 10:07 in Mumbai

real time ETA to next stop

real time ETA to next stop


You can get the app here from Google PlayStore. Do Check-In while traveling and contribute to this crowdsourcing initiative – the more people use it, the more information everyone gets.


Average waiting times, traffic index, one way road trip times, percentage usage of transit means, economic theories and definitions have been referenced from from Wikipedia and Numbeo.

 

Find the nearest Uber, Ola and book with one click!

It is a typical day. You have some plans and you want to book cab. Typically you open a cab app like Uber and see if a cab is available before booking it. If a cab isn’t available then you open another app like Ola and then check for cab availability there. Typically you end up wasting a lot of time switching between cab-booking apps.

Here is a neat solution. Now it is possible to know the nearest Uber or Ola around you on just one screen. Yes! You read that right. Lets suppose you are in Mumbai or in Ahmedabad or in Chandigarh or in Chennai, our app shows you the nearest Uber and Ola on the home screen.

zophop uber ola cab booking

 

How to get and use this amazing time saving feature?

1. Get zophop from Google Playstore
2. Open the app and see nearby cabs

Its that simple. Really.


Cities available for – Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Indore, Bhabaneswar, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Nagpur, Pune and Vijayawada.


 

Hand picked eating places in Kolkata

A while back we spoke about how Kolkata was the cultural capital of India. In this post we are going to speak about the flavours of Kolkata brought to you by the people of Kolkata itself. Below is a list of hand picked eateries, restaurants and other good food joints in the city. Most of them are affordable, some are well known and as for the others, well as for the other budget food is the word.

  1. The Park Pavilion – Park Circus opp. Shiraz Golden Restaurant – try the buffet here.

 

2. Bhajahori Manna 

 

3. Jai Hind Dhaba 

4.  Mouchak, College Street 

 

5. OlyPub, Parkstreet – 21 Mother Teresa Sarani,Park Street 

 


Know of a good place to eat in Kolkata? Do let us know in the comments below.

 

Budget food and other eating places in Chennai

A while back we had done a post – What is so awesome about Chennai, in which elaborated over the distinctive colours of the city. In this post we bring to you handpicked eating places in Chennai you could often eat at (absolutely delicious food) –

1. Dakshin9, Sheraton Park Hotel and Towers – yes, so we went a little overboard with the first suggestion. But it is a fine dining place nevertheless.

2. Kati Roll Shop, Golapuram

3. Chennai Rawther Thalapakattu – give the biryanis here a try.

 

4. Dindukal thalapakati – plus one for biryani and non – veg

 

5.  Friends park valasaravakkam

Places Delhi loves to eat at

We had done a post before on eating out in the city – Try these eating places in Delhi this weekend. But those were our suggestions. So we asked the people of Delhi what places they loved to eat at and below is a list of the same –

1. Not just Paranthas – You are gonna love this one. They have joints all over the cities and the paranthas are simply to die for. Go ahead, don’t think much, just go here and eat.

2. Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, Paranthewali Gali – we don’t have to say any more 

3.  Khan Chachas – If you haven’t had the rolls here, you haven’t had the rolls here

4. Rajinder Dhaba, Greenpark – amazing curries, chilled out atmosphere, booze nearby, what more can a man ask for?

5. Cyber Hub, Gurgoan – all eating places under one roof

Here are some other places which Delhi loves –

Carnatic Cafe, New friends Colony
Navedhyam, throughout the city
Khan Market
various joints in Laxmi Nagar
everything in Hauz Khas Village
different joints in Shahpur Jat
Nizam, CP
IHC
QD, Satya Niketan
Parantha Gali, Qutub Institutional Area


Have a favourite eating spot in Delhi? Do let us know in the comments below. Happy eating!

 

A tribute to Mumbai Bus Conductors

In our last post we spoke about this experience – celebrating Independence Day with over 250 bus conductors who have vowed to make life easy for the common by coming on board with us in our unique initiative of providing live bus timings to daily commuters.

The video below is this experience – shot live. Do take a look at it and see how happy they are on gaining recognition for their kind service.

Do’s and Don’ts for Jagannath Rath Yatra 2015

Jagannath-Rath-Yatra-Car-Festival-2015-Photos-Images

50 lakhs people are expected to visit Puri during the 10 days of Nabakalebara festival. While there are some common issues like avoid drunken driving, don’t enter the sea without lifeguards, be careful of pick-pocketing, etc; we would like to highlight some specific ones

  1. Booking – Do not visit without any prior booking as it is overcrowded and there is not even a chance to get a room even in Bhubaneswar (60 kms away from Puri). Also don’t overstay as you can come back to Puri whenever you want
  2. Respect the Priests – If by any chance you get in contact with any of the local priests (pandas), Respect them & don’t misbehave with them as they can be rude in the mad rush.
  3. Rains – The chances of rainfall during this period of time is very high & hence it would be advisable to carry mobile phones & cash in small polythene pouches. Carrying an umbrella is a great choice if you can handle the same in a big crowd.
  4. Food, Water & Hygiene – The government is taking steps to check quality of food in hotels and eateries across Puri to prevent possible outbreak of epidemics, but better take steps on our own. Sticking to fruits & packed foods is a brilliant option.
  5. Multiple SIMs – In this world of Dual SIM phones, ensure to carry SIMs of different mobile operators as there might be huge issue of Network Congestion. (Imagine a public of 10 lakh people within a distance of 3 kms). At least data services are bound to get affected.
  6. Fitness – As there would be lot of walking activity required, children & senior citizens should avoid taking the Grand Road during both Ratha Yatra & Bahuda Yatra. People getting fainted due to exertion are a common issue.
  7. Visiting Cards of hotels – Don’t forget to keep visiting cards of the hotels/lodges where you are staying. Yes, you can remember names but it gets very tricky with similar names like “The Sea Beach Hotel” & “The Sea Beach View Hotel”.
  8. Cash – With so much people expected in Puri, there is high risk of ATMs going dry & logistically it is very difficult for banks to refill the ATMs. So better to carry sufficient cash with you for the full stay period.
  9. Public transport – For the ease of traffic, entry of private vehicles is restricted in major areas. Government is running buses from Maltipur Bus Depot to various parts of the city. For the narrow lanes of Puri you can avail the services of manual rickshaw (plentily available).
  10. Spare Footwear – While visiting a holy city, it is always advisable to carry spare footwear as you may not find shoe stands everywhere. Barefoot is a brilliant idea if your hotel is a walking distance from the temple/parking lot.
  11. Mark a Landmark – You should landmark a place where everybody should meet up if people get lost from the group. Places like high rise buildings are easier to identify.
  12. Packing – Pack well before you reach there. Carry important documents like ID proofs for everybody including children & seniors citizens. Also, make sure to carry medicines for chronic diseases as well as normal medicines.

Lastly, don’t panic. The government is doing everything possible & has got 10000 plus volunteers to help the visitors. Simply, approach them & we are sure the problem can be resolved.

Jai Jagganath! Happy Ratha Yatra!


 

 Thank You Akhil Agrawal for this post.