Governance

Metro, AC buses remain out of bounds for low-income group people

Experts at the two-day International Conclave in Delhi call for policy changes for making public transport affordable

By Meenakshi Sushma
Last Updated: Wednesday 05 September 2018
Public transport
Credit: Meenakshi Sushma Credit: Meenakshi Sushma

Public transport systems like metro rail and AC buses are becoming unaffordable. About 34 per cent of Delhi’s commuters depend on non-AC buses, according to a recent report published by a Delhi-based think tank, Centre for Science and Environment. Only about 15-10 per cent of the commuters use AC buses in the national capital region.

Gautam Patel, CEO, Coordinates Consulting, during his presentation at the conclave, stated that the access to premium services such as Metro and AC bus remains elusive for lower strata of society.

This leaves us with the question of affordability. This gap can be filled if, "cost of moving a person by various modes of public transport is calculated,” says Prasanna Patwardhan, Chairman and MD, Prasanna Purple, a PPP-led urban bus services, during the two-day International Conclave on Clean and Low Carbon Mobility.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“The cities should be funded according to 'per person carriage cost’ and that funding needs to be prioritised for a particular mode of transport based on the number of people to be transferred from point A to B. The most affordable way to begin with is creating a pathway for pedestrians and bicycles,” suggests Purple. He also recommends separate corridors for buses, pedestrians and bicycles, which will need wider roads and reduced congestion.

Except Delhi, lower-income group needs to spend more than 10% of their monthly income on Non-premium Transportation Services

City

Minimum Wages (Rs per day)

Monthly Income  (Rs.)

Average Trip Length (KM)**

Fare

Monthly Expenditure on  PT  (Rs.)

% of Transportation expenses over Total income 

Skilled Manpower

Unskilled Manpower

Skilled Manpower

Unskilled Manpower

PT Mode

Fare

(Rs per Trip)

Skilled Manpower

Unskilled Manpower

Delhi

648

534

16848

13884

12.9

Bus  (Non AC)

15

1170

7%

8%

Bus  (AC)

25

1950

12%

14%

Metro

40

3120

19%

22%

Bengaluru

565.4

471.95

14704

12271

11.9

Non AC Bus 

23

1794

12%

15%

AC Bus (Suvarna)

25

1950

13%

16%

AC Bus (Vajra)

50

3900

27%

32%

Ahmedabad

329.2

312

8559

8112

9.71

BRTS

20

1560

18%

19%

City Bus

12

936

11%

12%


During the study, it was found that commuters in middle-income group spend Rs 250 after the Delhi metro increased the fare last October. Earlier, they had to spend around Rs 100 for travelling the same distance by metro and Rs 50 by bus.

Experts during the meeting say that it is time to prioritise the mode of public transport as increasing cost is compelling people to switch from one mode of transport to another, thus, putting too much of pressure on one mode of transport.

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