Bengaluru’s first interactive mobile bus stop highlights mobility gaps in the city
This travelling bus stop, created by women from the informal workforce, will tour through four chosen communities in the city throughout October
The recent Karnataka Shakti Scheme facilitates women to travel across Karnataka free of cost is a positive step forward but does not resolve the lack of connectivity in underserved areas. And now Alli Serona, a women’s collective, is addressing this mobility gap with Bengaluru’s first collapsible and mobile bus stop, which hopes to demonstrate how the transportation needs of the informal sector can be met. This ‘mobile bus stop’ will journey through four chosen areas in Bengaluru namely, Hosa Nagar, Seegahalli, Thursday Sante Area, and Byrasandra, across October.
The bus stop will be installed from October 5 – 7 behind Baiyappanahalli Metro Station, Hosa Nagar, from where it will move to Seegehalli and Priyanka Nagar on October 9 – 10, at the Thursday Sante Area on October 16-18, and at Byrasandra on October 20-21. Designed to resemble a wooden, scaled-down version of a typical bus stop, the installation will have a ticket counter, seating arrangements, a shared space for waiting, and a newsstand. “Through this installation we have created a platform with and for women working in the informal workforce of the city, to increase their participation in decision-making for improved public transport services for all,” says SureshaKantha B, a community coordinator from APSA for the Jayanagara constituency.
Ms Sujatha, a woman leader and tailor from Vijayanagar, Whitefield, shares, “We’re a family of four. My husband, maternal uncle, and I share a two-wheeler for work. Each of us having a vehicle increases carbon emissions. Many families do the same. Buses accommodating 50-60 people significantly reduce emissions. Leaving early doesn’t always help due to traffic. I’ve seen cars carrying one person, though they can seat five to six. Imagine if everyone used buses. This could positively impact the environment, leading to better rains, enhanced greenery, improved air quality, and overall better quality of life and health.”
Since 2022, Alli Serona has worked to pass the mic to women who are invisibilized even though they are an intrinsic part of the city. Mallika Arya of Bengaluru Moving says, “Goal 11 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals appeals to member countries to provide safe, affordable, and accessible transportation to all, especially those in vulnerable situations. Inclusive mobility in urban areas is however often overlooked. The Alli Serona Mobile Bus Stop demonstrates how a good public transport system can bring people into the fold of the city.”