Space crunch

Published: Friday 31 October 2008

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With a proper public transport system in place, by 2031 fuel consumption in India will reduce by a fourth in bigger cities. This will result in emissions reduction by up to 40 per cent. But going by past, current and projected trends for future, the advantages seem out of reach. Between 1994 and 2007, the composition of traffic has changed significantly. A few pointers

At present
Down to Earth Fast moving vehicles (motorized modes) increased from 70 per cent to 88 per cent. Slow moving vehicles (non-motorized modes), especially cycles, declined from 30 per cent to 12 per cent

Down to Earth Per capita one way trip rate for all modes increased by about 10 per cent to 20 per cent in cities with population above one million

Down to Earth While two-way walk trips declined significantly for small cities (categories one to three, see Index), the decrease was marginal for category four.For big cities of category five and six, walk trips increased over the past decade

Down to Earth Trip lengths (which depend on the size of the city) of large cities, categories five and six, increased. For small cities, categories one and two, the trip length declined and were close to the range of category three cities

Future projections (in 30 cities that were studied in detail)
Down to Earth Public transport share may decrease from 26 per cent in 2007 to 14 per cent in 2031

Down to Earth Share of personal vehicles including intermediate public transport (ipt, auto rickshaws), will increase from 74 per cent in 2007 to 86 per cent in 2031

Down to Earth An average of 83 per cent personal modes and ipt and 16 per cent public transport expected to increase further

Down to Earth Projected public transport share is estimated to decline from

--15.7 per cent in 2007 to 4.9 per cent in 2031 in cities with population from 0.1 to 0.5 million

--15.8 per cent to 7.8 per cent in cities with population between 0.5 to 1 million

--20.6-12.1 per cent in cities with population between 1 and 2 million

--7.7 per cent to 12.1 per cent in cities with population between 2 million and 5 million

--In cities with population greater than 5 million, the public transport share is estimated to decline from 54.4 per cent in 2007 to 29.4 in 2031

Down to Earth The non-motorized transport (nmt) trips (including walk and cycle) will continue to decline significantly in small and medium sized cities while the decline will be marginal in large cities

Down to Earth The average trip length, which is at present about 5 km, may become 8 km in 2031 for all city categories

Estimations for all 87 cities (total number of cities that qualified for the study)
Down to Earth Daily passenger trips (including nmt) are anticipated to double from 228.6 million in 2007 to 481.9 million by 2031. Growth will be highest, 136 per cent, in category four cities

Down to Earth Motorized trips per day are estimated to increase from 142 million in 2007 to 238.65 million in 2021 and 327.22 million in 2031.

Down to Earth The total transport demand in terms of passenger km per day is expected to increase from nearly 1,800 million in 2007 to 5,500 million in 2031

Source Compiled from Union Ministry of Urban Development's report titled "Study on traffic and transportation policies and strategies in urban areas in India

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