ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Geetam TiwariSubscribe to Geetam Tiwari

Are We Ready for Public Transport?

Although experts and citizens accept the need for a good public transport system, the question remains whether people will accept better road access for public transport than for private vehicles. The Indian experience shows that enhancement of public transport is only accepted if it does not inconvenience the private vehicle owner. Can such an attitude help promote and sustain public transport?

Are We Ready for Public Transport?

Although experts and citizens accept the need for a good public transport system, the question remains whether people will accept better road access for public transport than for private vehicles. The Indian experience shows that enhancement of public transport is only accepted if it does not inconvenience the private vehicle owner. Can such an attitude help promote and sustain public transport?

Metro Rail and the City

There is overwhelming evidence to show that capital-intensive metro rail systems serve only a small proportion of the total trips in cities in developing countries such as India. Public-private partnerships have not been very successful, and the Delhi Metro, which is considered to be the most successful project despite falling far short of its projected number of users, enjoys numerous tax benefits not offered to the bus system, which carries at least five times more trips. Metro projects around the country are planned and implemented in isolation without any concern for feeder trips and other modes of transport. In short, the current regime seems to be biased towards the magnitude of capital required for construction of a metro system, rather than the magnitude of its benefits.

Sustainable Transport Systems

While discussing issues concerning public transport, safety and the environment, this paper illustrates that unless the needs of non-motorised modes of traffic are met, it will be almost impossible to design any sustainable transport system for urban areas. If the infrastructure design does not meet the requirements of pedestrians, bicyclists and non-motorised rickshaws, all modes of transport operate in sub-optimal conditions. However, re-designing existing roads will not only provide a safer and convenient environment for non-motorised modes, it will also improve efficiency of public transport vehicles and enhance the capacity of the corridor when measured in number of passengers transported per hour per lane.
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