M3 Features

Kolkata tops Indian cities in public transport: Study

December 18, 2013

Its trams might be the slowest mode of commuting, but when it comes to public transport, Kolkata is regarded the most progressive city in the country, according to a new study.

The study of 84 cities across the world, titled 'Future of Urban Mobility 2.0', ranks Kolkata at 31 - highest among the six cities studied in India. While Mumbai (41) comes second, Chennai (54) comes third, followed by Hyderabad (55), Bangalore (65) and Delhi (79). The study was released on Monday by Arthur D Little, a management consultant based in Boston, and International Association of Public Transport (UITP).

The best cities, according to the study, are Hong Kong, Stockholm and Amsterdam while the worst are Baghdad, Hanoi and Atlanta. Kolkata fares better than several cities in developed countries including New York (35), Toronto (38) and Melbourne.

Some of the parameters that were taken into account are share of trips made in public transport, smart card penetration, road density, frequency of public transport and initiatives taken in the public sector.

Kolkata has more options – including the tram system. (TOI photo)

Experts say it is no surprise that Kolkata holds the top rank in the country as it has a array of options - including the age-old tram system, the new-age metro rail and 'intermediate public transport' systems like autorickshaws and taxis that go by the meter. More than half or 54% of all trips are made on public transport, according a study by the Union Ministry of Urban Development - the highest in the country. Though the government is on a banning spree, studies also show that some 11% of all trips are made on cycles and only 8% are made on cars - which is one of the lowest in the country.

Urban planning experts say a city with good public transport should have progressive land use policies, and that's where cities like Hong Kong and Singapore score. "These cities are most dense along the transit corridors, taking away the need for private vehicles," said Raj Cherubal, an expert working with the Tamil Nadu government on urban planning. "For example, in Hong Kong, parking is not allowed in buildings which are less than 500 m from a metro line. While on the one hand they have great public transport, there is also heavy restriction in private vehicles," he added.

Courtesy: The Times of India

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