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

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Is Public Transport in Ahmedabad Inclusive?

There are two types of public transport riders: choice and captive. Key captivity factors could be higher generalised costs of alternative transport and inability to drive (age, medical conditions, etc). In this context, the travel behaviour of the urban poor in Ahmedabad—most of whom are captive riders unable to access private transport and therefore dependent on public transport—is studied.

Public systems (including transport) that are socially inclusive represent a fair society. Citizens not being able to access public transport, both monetarily and physically, are excluded from participation in the economic and social activities in a society. In public transport there could be two scenarios which lead to social exclusion. First, the public transport system offers poor accessibility, that is, it does not cover the areas where the urban poor live and work. Second, even if the system is accessible, it is unaffordable in terms of the generalised cost which includes monetary cost (that is, fuel or fare, parking, and operations and maintenance [O&M]) and value of time.

In this article, we use Ahmedabad as a case study. Ahmedabad was founded in the year 1411. It is the largest city in Gujarat and the seventh largest in India with a population of 5.58 million (DCO 2011). Most of the existing footprint of the city is within the limits of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). The AMC, which has an area of 465 square kilometres (sq km), is engulfed by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) area of 1,800 sq km. The city has two major bus public transport systems: the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) running in mixed traffic and the bus rapid transit system (BRTS) running on dedicated right-of-way (except at junctions and a few other stretches), which are operated by Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL). Both the AMTS, which is one of the oldest transport organisations in India, functioning since 1947, and the BRTS are wholly owned subsidiaries of the AMC. A metrorail system is under construction in Ahmedabad and is expected to commence in 2019. There are a huge number of para-transit vehicles in Ahmedabad that comprise hail-and-ride autorickshaws and shared autorickshaws (point-to-point). In some areas, the shared autorickshaws directly compete with public transport.

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Updated On : 22nd Feb, 2019
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