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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

To tackle pollution, focus on buses, BRT

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 16, 2012
First Published: 03:50 IST(16/11/2012) | Last Updated: 03:52 IST(16/11/2012)

The Delhi government is mulling over proposals to augment the Capital's bus fleet and bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors, and put in place an integrated public transport system with common ticketing and linkages between different modes.

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The government also plans safety audits of pedestrians and cycle lanes. It will also review Delhi's bicycle master plan and prepare a zonal plan for a non-motorised transport (NMT) network.

Since vehicles — mostly personal — are responsible for 70 per cent of Delhi's total air pollution, a five-year action plan prepared by the Delhi http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/11/16-11-12-pg-04a.jpggovernment to tackle the problem puts maximum emphasis on boosting non-motorised and public transport.

The plan calls for augmenting the Capital's bus fleet to 15,000 from the current 6,200 by 2014, running 17 bus clusters with requisite number of depots/terminals, and operating 14 BRT corridors by 2016.

Focus will be laid on the enforcement of new street design guidelines and robust laws to protect pedestrians and cyclists as well as discouraging signal-free corridors.

 "We need to cut down on the number of personal vehicles to control pollution. For this, we need to scale up non-motorised and public transport," said a senior official. "The increasing number of diesel vehicles is continuously aggravating the situation," he said.

"Incentives for shifting commuters to public transport may be in the form of assured, convenient and integrated multi-modal public transport system with common ticketing and linkages between different modes," said the official. "We need to create urban transport funds. This can be used to reduce bus fares to wean people back," he said.

"Scaling up of public transport will need massive expansion of non-motorised transport such as walking and cycling corridors to improve last-mile connectivity and reduce automobile dependence," he said. 

"Delhi has very high cycling and pedestrian trips. We need to make these zero-emission modes safer," he said.


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