Can t miss the bus

  • 30/05/2008

Public transport is the only answer to congestion and pollution

The present crisis demands new solutions. And the solution is public transport, for space to accommodate cars is limited and cleaner and fuel-efficient technologies defeated by the number of vehicles. The Delhi government is planning to have 120 km of metro, 292 km of brt, and 50 km each of monorail and light rail by 2020. These will be interconnected. "We need different modes of transport. In the Walled City, for instance, metro or brt will not work because the roads are not wide enough. There we are going for the light rail system,' says Rakesh Mehta, chief secretary, Delhi.

brt is cheaper and quicker to construct as compared to metro. Metro costs Rs 100-300 crore per kilometre, while brt costs Rs 10-20 crore. "While Bangalore metro is scheduled to roll out in 2011, I expect it to be ready only by 2015. Its intended coverage is inadequate,' says G V Dasarathi, director of applications, Cadem Technologies, member of a network of citizens promoting public transport in Bangalore, Greener Bangalore. The Delhi metro has, however, inspired other cities. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (dmrc) has carried out a feasibility study for a Chennai metro. Ahmedabad and Hyderabad are also developing a metro system. But Kolkata and Delhi metros have not met the projected ridership. The Kolkata metro was to carry about 1.7 million passengers per day but its ridership is only 0.2-0.3 million.

Integrating different public transport systems is crucial to their optimal utilization. "We found that only people who live or work near metro stations and those who had cars and could park them were using the metro. We have 100 feeder buses and are going to get 300 more,' says Anuj Dayal, public relations officer, dmrc. "brt acting as a feeder to metro is a good thing. Metro can't reach everywhere and there is enough demand in Delhi for the two systems.'

Meeting this demand will require massive investment. But the benefits of public transport if properly counted

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