Tuesday, April 19, 2011


by Geetam Tiwari

Urban travel in Indian cities predominantly happens through walking, cycling and public transport, including intermediate public transport (IPT). Despite high growth rates of motorised two wheelers and cars in the last two decades (15 per cent and 10 per cent per annum respectively), car ownership remains at 3–13 per cent of the households and two wheelers at 40–50 per cent. The latter is same as the bicycle ownership in cities of different sizes. The variation in modal shares among these three seems to have a relationship between city size and per capita income. Small and medium size cities have a lower income than the mega cities. Therefore the dependence on cycle rickshaws and bicycles is higher in smaller cities. In some medium-size cities (populations of 1 million to 3 million), private buses have been introduced. Public-sector-run state transport corporations have been responsible for running inter-city routes. Other than the four megacities (Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) Bangalore and Pune are the exceptions in which municipal corporations have been running significant number of buses. Other cities have skeletal bus services provided by the city municipality. Intermediate public transport (IPT) modes like tempos, cars and cycle rickshaws assume importance as they are necessary to meet travel demands in medium size cities in India like Lucknow, Hubli, Varanasi, Kanpur and Vijayawada. These vehicles have minimal regulations in terms of road worthiness certifications issued by the transport authorities. Their operations have been left to the private operator. Often they have been found to cause serious emission and safety violations. However, there is no policy or project that can improve the operation of para-transit modes. Often the fare policy stipulated by the government is not honoured by the operators, and the road infrastructure also does not include facilities for these modes. As a result, the operators have to violate legal policies to survive.

Agra,India, by PnP!

more about urban India:

GIS based Earthquake Risk-Vulnerability Analysis and Post-quake Relief Planning

An experiment in urban planning

Design Lessons From India's Poorest Neighborhoods

Urban Transport Sector in Developing Countries

Urban Transport in Bangalore - The Worsening Crisis

Urbanization, Urban India and Metropolitan Cities in India


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