Commuter problems with public transport rising in Mangaluru, Says research study
Mangaluru: Transport and commuting need to be viewed from a more inclusive nature since it adds a very strong gender component says the Mangalore-based researchers. A research titled “Study of commuter problems and opinions in a fast developing coastal city of Mangalore in India: A gender perspective analysis” was recently published in the International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences (www.ijhas.in).
A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess commuter problem and study the opinion of commuters with regard to public transport and road safety by involving 139 commuters by purposive sampling who travel daily in the coastal city of Mangalore in Southern India using public transport.
Among the study participants, 83.5% feel the roads in the city are unsafe and 49.6% felt stressed due to travel and 51.1% felt the public transports are rarely safe for women to travel at night. Around 49.3% female participants found commuting difficult during rains and 62.1% males found commuting difficult. About 72.6% females found auto drivers rude sometimes. The study says, public transport ought to be efficient to cater to growing number of commuters who travel for work and personal reasons so that travel-related stress is reduced. Scientific literature previously has pointed out that an inverse relationship exists between health status and commuting; productivity and commuting; work readiness and commuting. Transport facilities act as a social capital which also provides social justice. Good public transport systems will improve the quality of life, elevate the happiness quotient, save time and provide better safety measures and respect individual freedom.
After nearly seven decades of independence, women’s safety not being guaranteed is nothing but the sign of a society still struggling to make its existence, says Dr Edmond Fernandes.
Quoting, Smeed in October 1967 at the University College London they said, “The feeling that something should be done to mitigate the harmful effects of motor vehicles is almost universal, but the opinions on what should be done are wildly conflicting.”
Mangaluru city has 413 public transport buses and 594 service buses as per the information available with the Deputy Commissioner for Road Transports, Dakshina Kannada District as on September 2016. The total amount of driving license holders as on September 2014 mentioned is 547,480, the trend only continues to rise.
The study concludes that issues of women and child safety during travel by public transport, the behaviour of auto drivers, the need to increase road patrolling during day and night will require sincere investment from policy makers and stakeholders. Perhaps, the time to create a gender sensitive commuter-centric road safety policy requires being developed.
The researchers in the study were Edmond Fernandes, Abhay Nirgude, Poonam Naik, Neevan Dsouza from Yenepoya University and Soumya Shetty from CHD Group.