Urban Public Transport Today

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With a growing body of experience, it should be easier than ever for cities to decide which approach best works for them. Could free transportation be the future for our towns and cities? BSc Universidade de Sant This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here. Share to facebook Share to twitter Share to linkedin. As incomes rise, more and more people will want to own vehicles and many will have more than one. Digest this: It took India around 60 years to have million registered vehicles, but just seven years to reach million, according to a Centre for Science and Environment CSE analysis of government data.

Similarly, it took 55 years for India to have 10 million cars but the number tripled in just a decade. We have added twice as many two-wheelers in the last 10 years as we did in the previous This will put more pressure on transportation infrastructure To add to the problem, experience has shown that one model of transportation system might not work in all urban agglomerations.

b. Longer commuting

Given all these difficulties, India is staring at a serious commuting conundrum. Solutions have to be developed fast if we do not want to be caught in a severe jam.

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Bengaluru ranked below Mumbai and Chennai on a global urban mobility index by Arthur D Little, a management consultancy. Singapore, Stockholm and Amsterdam ranked on top.

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Alavilli says the number of buses in Bengaluru, 6,, has not changed in six years. Buses in the city carried 12 times as many people as its metro as of Alavilli says a suburban rail system is the answer for commuter woes. The Union Budget allocated Rs 6, crore for a suburban rail network in Bengaluru. A similar sum will be contributed by the state government for the km network. Several cities have seen a clamour for a metro system after Delhi metro began operations in late Ten cities now have operational metro lines running along km.

But a metro system might not be the solution in all the cases.

The networks in Lucknow, Jaipur and Kochi, Chennai have been criticised for attracting much lower riderships than originally estimated — less than a tenth of the projections. The Union government has allocated Rs 14, crore for metro projects in , more than a third of the allocation for the urban affairs ministry. A city should opt for a metro network only if it can offset the capital cost by monetising land around stations, as fares alone cannot defray costs, Pai says. That money can be better spent on buses, education and healthcare.

Car Dependence Average distance per car trip in km Urban transportation policies in India have been ad hoc at best, say experts, with little regard for the needs of a city and its constraints. They were able to develop the land around stops. A 29 km coastal road has been proposed between Marine Lines in the south and Kandivali in the north.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has awarded contracts for the Rs 12, cr, 10 km stretch on the southern end. Pressure on the system is showing in its infrastructure. In September , 23 people died in a stampede on a footbridge at one of the stations. One of the primary reasons for poor urban planning in India is the presence of multiple agencies and often-disjointed state and central government schemes.

For instance, besides the municipal corporation, there may be an infrastructure development agency, a transport corporation and even a separate entity for the metro system, while the suburban rail network is operated by the railways.

The Smart Cities Mission attempts to bring in a certain amount of coordination between the agencies. Unveiled in June , the programme, one of the marquee initiatives of the government, is aimed at upgrading infrastructure in cities. The government agreed to give each of the cities Rs crore every year for five years, with an equal contribution coming from the state government and the urban local body combined.

Public transport

According to the CSE, a fifth of the allocation for the mission is for urban transport. The city is also looking at reassessing the designs of streets.

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Among the most significant developments in urban mobility in recent years has been the rise of ride-hailing services like Uber and Ola, which also let users share rides. These apps have upset the apple cart and forced cabbies and autorickshaw drivers to go on strike repeatedly.

State governments have threatened these companies with regulation. The Economic Times recently reported that Gujarat was planning to cap the statewide fleet of aggregators at 20, cabs each. While a lot of attention is given to metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi, we might miss the bus on implementing sustainable changes in tier-II cities like Vijayawada and Nashik.

Urban public transport today

Such places rely mostly on private vehicles and buses. People buy vehicles when public transport cannot absorb the transition from non-motorised to motorised transport, says Roychowdhury. She adds that there is an opportunity to fix the urban transportation problem in these cities before they become bigger. It is clear that the future of urban transport is not in roads packed with cars and bikes.

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While the auto industry will lobby the government against higher taxes on vehicles, one of the alternatives is to disincentivise car purchases by making public parking expensive. Moreover, cities known for their efficient mobility options, like Copenhagen and Zurich, make sure urban transport is integral to the way the city develops, rather than playing catch-up, which is what Indian cities do and often fail at.

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