The Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday after much contemplation passed the long-pending Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) Bill that aims to bring all public transport systems in the city under one umbrella.
With the passage of the bill, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) became the nodal agency for planning and coordinating public transport in the 279 sq km Bengaluru Metropolitan Area. The BMLTA was constituted in 2007 and this bill confers the statutory authority to BMLTA to regulate and coordinate urban mobility initiatives from auto rickshaws to the metro trains.
The proposed authority is similar to that of London’s local government body- Transport for London, which is responsible for most of the transport network in the city, including the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, buses, taxis, cycling provision, trams, and river services.
Bommai, who is also in charge of Bengaluru affairs, said the city did not grow in a planned way. “Eight surrounding towns and 110 villages were acquired. Imagine the infrastructure of a town and village into which large traffic is going,” he said, adding that 5,000 new vehicles enter the city’s roads daily. “The city has 1.25 crore people and 1.04 crore vehicles. In five years, vehicles will outnumber people.”
This bill has been formulated aligning with the National Urban Transport Policy 2014 recommending the formation of a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA). The functional aspects of the authority include coordination among various transport agencies, civic bodies and other stakeholders, engaging the private sector in the delivery of mobility services, policy formulation for non-motorised transport, and multi-modal integration among others, assisting the state government on matters related to urban mobility.