October 3, 2023

Traffic Experts Reveal Alarming Cost of Congestion: Bengaluru Loses Rs 19,725 Crore Annually

In a comprehensive report submitted to Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar, traffic experts have shed light on the crippling cost of traffic-related hindrances in Bengaluru. The study, conducted by city-based traffic expert MN Sreehari, paints a bleak picture of the financial toll the city endures due to inadequate road planning, traffic mismanagement, and infrastructural deficits.

One of the primary drivers of the traffic woes in Bengaluru is the staggering growth of the IT sector, which has led to a surge in employment opportunities, housing demands, and educational facilities. As a result, the city has witnessed an exponential population growth, reaching a staggering 14.5 million, with the number of vehicles soaring close to 1.5 crore.

A working paper published by the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) delved deeper into the repercussions of the traffic congestion. The study estimated that Bengalureans suffer a staggering loss of approximately 7.07 lakh hours in productivity every year, primarily due to the time spent navigating the city’s traffic maze.

Data from the report revealed that 57% of private vehicle users and 55% of public transport users arrive late at their workplaces. Public transport users tend to account for congestion and travel time in their schedules, while private transport users often overlook such considerations, leading to substantial losses in productive hours.

Despite boasting 60 fully operational flyovers, Bengaluru continues to bleed an astonishing Rs 19,725 crore for road users each year. The losses are attributed to delays, traffic congestion, stoppages at signals, slow-moving vehicles hindering faster ones, fuel wastage, time loss for commuters, and the monetary value of the lost vehicle time based on individual salaries.

The issue further compounds due to the disproportionate growth of road length compared to vehicular growth and urban expansion. While Bengaluru has expanded from 88 square kilometers to 985 square kilometers in 2023, the total road length remains around 11,000 kilometers, which falls short of meeting the city’s escalating transport demands and increasing trips made.

To address this burgeoning crisis, the report calls for urgent action to revamp the city’s road infrastructure, improve traffic management systems, and develop sustainable public transportation alternatives. Focused efforts towards integrated urban planning and smarter transport solutions could potentially alleviate the financial strain Bengaluru bears due to traffic-related hindrances.

As Bengaluru strives to maintain its status as India’s IT and innovation hub, the findings of this report serve as a wake-up call for policymakers and city authorities. Swift and strategic interventions are the need of the hour to salvage productivity, reduce financial losses, and create a more liveable city for its residents. Only with collective and resolute action can Bengaluru hope to overcome the traffic ordeal and pave the way for a brighter, congestion-free future.