Urban Transport should be to "move people instead of vehicles". However, most big cities in India have failed to realize this goal in their public transport system. Discuss the reasons while suggesting how can India improve its public transport system?

Owning a vehicle has been perceived as a prestige symbol across the globe. The better the car or a bike one owns the better is one’s status. This in turn led to overcrowding of the roads and rising pollution. Indian cities are no exception to the same. Delhi has topped the list of most polluted cities around the world and Bengaluru is highly known for its traffic conditions.
The major problems in making the public transport a hit include,

  • Poor urban planning and city level governance occupy the major share of why the public transport system is not run at its full potential.
  • Lack of transparency and accountability of the municipal corporations and the inevitable litigations due to overlapping of the state and the city jurisdiction second for poor urban planning.
  • An unfortunate ways of approach to solve the problems of traffic. Simply building more roads and flyovers with no proper planning does not fix the situation. They merely act as Band-Aid solutions.
  • Public transport is often known for the delays. People commuting for work find it highly unreliable to use the public transport which runs late.

The way forward:

  • Improving the state and city governance with better transparency and accountability.
  • Providing reliable public transport system with a last- mile connectivity.
  • Introduction of metro system is a welcome move in all the cities. It just have to be implemented well by complementing the system with connecting buses, etc. to improve the citizens’ experience.
  • Centralised monitoring system to monitor the public transport will help in noticing the glitches and providing the required help.
  • Emphasis on projects like FAME India and incentivizing citizens towards using public transport, shared rides and electric vehicles will bring about significant changes.
  • Giving local bodies powers in managing the transport system would help in better deliverance of the services.
Question for UPSC Mains:
Urban Transport should be to "move people instead of vehicles". However, most big cities in India have failed to realize this goal in their public transport system. Discuss the reasons while suggesting how can India improve its public transport system? [Mint]

Published: December 28, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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