Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bangalore Bliss

Bangalore’s traffic is unlike any I’ve ever seen in my life. Part of that may be the cows, plodding along, stopping traffic as they please, but it’s more than that. It’s the gridlock. The previously unimaginable pace at which motor vehicles crawl along the pothole-ridden asphalt. In a city that’s expanded as quickly as Bangalore has, I suppose it’s not surprising. Nonetheless I never fail to be shocked at just how slow cars, autos, trucks and the occasional bovine can actually move.
Above the city, gliding effortlessly from one well-off neighborhood to another, the sparkling Bangalore metro presides smugly over the gridlock below. It’s by far the cleanest metro I’ve ever ridden and the security is second to none. But the slow pace of construction and limited geographic range of service means it’s yet to become a viable alternative for the vast majority of Bangaloreans. I personally take an auto to get to the closest stop and use it only to go to one destination. And my main motivation, besides avoiding sitting in traffic filling my lungs with fumes, is the blissful feeling of gliding above the city soaking in the bird’s eye view.
Until the metro expands its services and becomes more than a novelty, new solutions are necessary to save Bangalore from its notorious reputation and, more importantly, to save its residents from death by fumes.
Journey sharing is a unique solution to this problem. One that makes sense in a city like Bangalore that has expanded so much that people feel disconnected and distant. When I get on the metro I plug in my headphones and try not to make eye contact. In someone’s car I can’t help but ask questions, look for commonalities, make a connection.

That’s why I work for Grallo. I believe not only in sustainable transportation solutions to urban expansion but also in social solutions.

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