One of the current issues pertaining to urban traffic is the role of the
public transport. The recent energy crisis, the steep fall in the environmental
quality of the roads and severe congestion have bought this subject to the
fore. The component of the sustainable transport includes the study of
balancing the different modes of transport with the infrastructure used to
accommodate (roads, railways, airways, waterways, canals and terminals). The
sustainable changes in traffic leave a high impact on traffic conditions of the
urban cities. Short term activity promotes improvement in the fuel efficiency
and vehicle emissions controls, while long term goals include migrating form
fuel-based energy to other alternatives such as renewable resources. The entire
life cycle of transport system is subjected to sustainability measurement and
institute of traffic engineers defines traffic engineering as “That phase of
engineering which deals with planning and geometric design of streets, highways
and abutting lands, and with traffic operation there on, as their use is
related to the safe, convenient and economic transportation of persons and
goods, people are demanding high level of service quality and value for their
money. The Intelligent Transport
System(ITS) will provide easy availability of real time information such as
maps, GPS systems and other travel related information that will help commuters
plan their journey based on distance, time and cost.
is a cost-effective means of increasing the efficiency of the Urban Transport
(UT) network, to manage the crisis of congestion in urban areas, reduce the
number of crashes and fatalities, improving safety of commuters, improving
public transport usage, and efficient management of the freight traffic.
Sustainable Traffic and
Traffic Engineering are interrelated to each other. Current Issues pertaining
to urban traffic is “Role of public transport in present traffic conditions”.
Presently, usage of personnel vehicles is increasing compared to public
transport leading to traffic congestions and traffic jams. It also leads to
increase in population levels in atmosphere leading to increase in different
diseases related to breathing. The major part of study of urban traffic
includes study of different modes of travel and finding a way to balance the
India is poised for rapid
economic growth. Such future growth will
legally come from the secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy, i.e. the
industrial and service sectors. Since economic activities in these sectors
primarily take place in urban areas, the state of our towns and cities is
crucial to India’s future growth.
Further, India’s Urban
Population is currently around 30 % of its total population. Experience across
the world has been that as economies grow, rapid urbanization takes this
proportion to over 60 % before it begins to stabilize. As such it is projected
that India’s urban population would grow to about 473 million in 2021 and 820
million by 2051 as against 285 million in 2001. Hence, cities must not only
meet the mobility needs of the current population but also provide for the
needs of those yet to join the urban population. The Government has launched
National Urban Renewal Mission ( NURM) that inter – alia seeks to bring about
comprehensive improvements in urban infrastructure, committing substantial
funds for this purpose and requiring a series of reform that would make the
investments sustainable. Since the number of
modes of transport is increasing, there is an urgent need to shift from
non – renewable to renewable sources. The entire lifecycle of transport systems
is subjected to sustainability measurement and optimization.
For urban areas to be
able to support the required level of economic activity, they must provide for
the easy and sustainable flow of goods and people. Unfortunately, however, such
flow of goods and people has been facing several problems. Most prominent among
them have been following:
Accessing jobs, education
and similar activities is becoming increasingly time consuming. Billions of man
hours are lost with people “Stuck in Traffic”. The primary reason for this has
been the explosive growth in the number of motor vehicles, coupled with
limitations on the amount of road space that can be provided. For example, on
an average, while the population of India’s six major metropolises increased by
about 1.9 times during 1981 to 2001, the number of, motor vehicles went up by
over 7.75 times during the same period.
The cost of travel,
especially for the poor has increased considerably. This is because the use of cheaper
non-motorized modes like cycling and walking has become extremely risky, since
these modes have to share the same right of way with motorized modes. Further,
with population growth, cities have tended to sprawl and increased travel
distances have made non-motorized modes impossible to use. This has made access
to livelihoods, particularly for the poor, far more difficult.
Travel in the city has become more risky with
accident rates having gone up from 1.6 lakhs in 1981 to over 3.9 lakhs in 2001.
The number of persons killed in road accidents has also gone up from 28,400 to
over 80,000 during the same period. This again has tended to impact the poor severely
as many of those killed or injured tend to be cyclist, pedestrians or pavement dwellers.
Unless the above problems are remedied, poor mobility can become a major dampener
to economic growth and cause the quality of life to deteriorate. A policy is,
therefore, needed on the approach to dealing with this rapidly growing problem
as also offer a clear direction and a framework for further action.
Future scope of Transport Planning:
To recognize that people
occupy center-stage in our cities and all plans would be for their common
benefit and well being.
To make our cities the
most livable in the world and enable them to become the “engines of economic
growth” that power India’s development in the 21st Century.
To allow our cities to
evolve into an urban form that is best suited for the unique geography of their
locations and is best placed to support the main social and economic activities
that take place in the city.
Objectives of Sustainable Transport:
The main aim of this
policy is to provide safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and
sustainable access for the growing number of jobs, education, recreation and
such other needs within our cities. This is achieved by:
Improving the livelihoods
of the people, their education and other social activities by use of integrated
land use and transportation planning in cities.
To improve the production
by utilizing improved business opportunities.
To design roads by
focusing on people who are using it rather than number of transport vehicle
that are moving on the road.
To encourage the use of
advanced public transport systems with the help of central government aids.
Enabling greater use of
quality focused multi modal public transport systems that are well integrated,
providing seamless travel across modes.
Improving the planning
and management of transportation system with the help of educational institutes,
specialized in road transportation planning.
Encouraging the use of
Intelligent Transport Systems to improve the traffic management.
Addressing concerns of
road safety and trauma response
Encouraging use of
pollution free vehicles and empowering strictly traffic management.
Improving the design of road
transportation system by inclusion of private sector.
Taking up pilot projects
that demonstrate the potential of possible best practices in sustainable urban
Need for Centralized System:
A centralized system is
necessary to control the urban transportation systems in states as:
A number if agencies work
for the central government with no accountability to the state government.
Several acts and rules
dealing with urban transportation planning issues are formed and administered
by the central government.
A centralized guideline
is required to guide state level action plans.
A need exists to build
capacity for urban transport planning, as also develop it as a professional
Importance of the Objectives of the Policies:
The implementation of the
policies selected can be possible only if the measures provided in the previous
section are taken seriously. These measures are provided below in detail:
Integrating land use and transport planning:
The city plan should have
sustainable transportation system suitable to the geographical conditions of
the area, economical to people of all walks of life with a proper plan for the future
growth in traffic. Government of India would, therefore, promote the
development of such integrated land use and transport plans to all cities.
These plans can be per sued when there is a proper coordination between City
and State government. 50% of the money will be funded by the central government
to encourage the use of latest technologies in urban systems of planning.
Equitable Allocation of Road Space:
At present, road space
gets allocated to whichever vehicle occupies it first. The focus is, therefore
the vehicle and not people. The result is that a bus carrying 40 people is
allocated only two and a half times the road space that is allocated only two
and a half times the road space that is allocated to personal vehicles. Users
of non-motorized roads have tended to be squeezed out of the roads on account
of serious threats to their safety. If the focus of the principles of the road
allocation were to be the people, then much more space would need to be
allocated to public transport systems then is allocated at present.
The central government,
therefore, encourages the measures that allocate road space on a more equitable
basis, with people as its focus. This can be achieved by reserving lanes and
corridors exclusively for public transport and non-motorized modes of travel.
Similarly lanes could be reserved for vehicles that carry more than three
persons (popularly known as High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes). Past experience has
been that such reserved lanes are not respected by motorists and therefore lose
meaning. In order to facilitate better enforcement of such lane discipline,
suitable provisions would be introduced in the Motor Vehicles Act and other
instrumentalities to enable stringent penalties for violation.
Priority to the use of public transport:
Public transport is more
economical compared to private transport and causes less pollution. Central
government is providing more of support to public transport facilities
financially with latest technologies being used in it.
Integrated Public Transport Systems:
All cities have corridors
that have varying densities of travel and hence need technologies that best match
the level of demand on the corridor. This often requires different operators
managing such systems. This public transport is the best when it is perceived
as a single transportation unit by the traveler within which he can shift from
one mode to another mode of travel by using a single ticket.
The government would
encourage high capacity public transport systems being set up through the
mechanism of special purpose vehicles (SPV) and would offer financial support
either in the form of equity or one-time viability gap financing, subject to a
ceiling of 20 % of the capital cost of the project, after evaluating various
Role of Para transit
Para transit normally
expects to fulfill a need that neither public transport or personal vehicles
are able to fulfill. They normally cater to category of occasional trips such
as trips to airports or rail stations with excessive baggage.
Smart parking spaces
should be provided as it is taking up major portion of the land. State
governments would be required to amend building bye laws in all million plus
cities so that adequate parking space is available for users of such buildings.
Multilevel space parking should be made available.
As economic activities in
cities expand and city population grows, a substantial amount of freight
traffic would be generated. The timely and smooth movement of such freight is
crucial to the well being of the people and the viability of the economic
activities they undertake. It hinders the normal traffic conditions, in order
to provide smooth transportation in cities; freight traffic is restricted to
late night hours. Many cities have restricted the freight traffic in the day
time. Further, many cities have by-passes that enable through traffic to go
around the city and do not add traffic to the city conditions.
Legal and Administrative Issues:
The present rules and
regulations are not well equipped in dealing with the problems of urban
transport of future. The central government will, therefore recommend the
setting up of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authorities (UMTA’s) in all
million plus cities, to facilitate more co-ordinate planning and implementation
of urban transport programs and projects and an integrated management of urban
From the above review the
conclusions made are, the present traffic conditions need to be improved by
implementation of proper rules and regulations with seriousness. The modes of
transport need to be improved with proper planning and use of Infrastructure
from State and Central Government. The Finances need to be made available using
which the present traffic conditions can be improved. Specialized people in the
field of transportation Engineering need to be recruited at higher level to
coordinate the rules and regulations at higher level. Importance needs to be
given to People while designing Roads than the number of vehicles using the
road. Simplification of transportation needs to be done by providing
convenience to the people using different modes of traffic on everyday basis by
providing a certain ticket on which the traveler can travel a whole day
irrespective of mode of travel, thus saving time. A future transportation Plan
should be planned for 30 years in advance, keeping in consideration the further
increase in number of people increasingly using different modes of travel. All
legal and administrative issues need to b sorted out while acquiring land for
different issues related to urban transport systems. Use of cleaner
technologies for construction of pollution free vehicles needs to be provided. Private and Public sector need to work
together for the further development of urban transportation systems. And lastly,
people need to b made aware of the latest technologies used and the way they
need to be used without any hindrance. If we provide good alternatives for
public transport, we can reduce traffic problems.