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The Need for Sustainable Public Transport system in the Millennium City

The need of the hour is for an umbrella body on the lines of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) to integrate public transport system and provide a single window ticketing mechanism for commuters.

Gurugram has emerged as a leading industrial and financial hub with the third highest per capita income in the country. However, rapid urbanization, burgeoning population, emerging employment opportunities and growing economy has placed tremendous stress on the infrastructure of the region. Despite witnessing phenomenal growth in the past few decades, a reliable, safe and sustainable transport system still eludes the city. A November 2017 report by Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited has identified that majority of the population relies on Intermediate Public Transport which causes problems such as congestion, pollution, safety issues and poor quality of service. Further, the dilapidated condition of roads, traffic snarls, waterlogging, lack of road safety measures are among the host of issues that continue to plague the transport system of the city.  Also, traffic in Gurugram has grown at an unsustainable pace and around 1 lakh vehicles being registered in the city every year. 

In the present scenario Rapid Metro is one of the efficient modes of mass transit system. The city bus system which has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and enhance connectivity continues to be in a deplorable state. The survey—Implementation of City Bus Service Project in Gurugram–Bus Route Planning and Rationalization commissioned in May 2017 by the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) found that 27% respondents cited ‘no route’ and 18% pointing out ‘crowding’ as the reasons for not preferring buses as the mode of transport.  

The way forward for an efficient and reliable public transport in Gurugram is a three-pronged approach namely ‘Avoid, ‘Shift’ and ‘Improve’. “Avoid” policies strategizes focus on aspects of urban planning and land use regulations, which calls for compact & green cities thus, reducing the distance between workplaces, homes, shopping and leisure activity. “Shift” is more towards reducing vehicular use and optimization through carpooling, public transportation, vehicle sharing, “Improve” strategy encompasses improving and optimizing the vehicle use by making technological improvement in terms of renewable energy, vehicle design for space and safety. 

The need of the hour is for an umbrella body on the lines of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) to integrate public transport system and provide a single window ticketing mechanism for commuters. Also, sufficient thrust should be laid on the public-private partnerships in areas such as investment and road safety and on encouraging cycling which entails a shift to ‘greener and healthier mode of transport. Road safety is another quintessential issue to make Gurugram a sustainable city. Greater efforts have to be made to explain policy changes to public through innovative communication campaigns which will go a long way in eliciting public support and awareness for a safe, reliable and efficient transport system in the city.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house