India needs solutions and strategies to improve sustainability of transport system in the cities, director general of the New Delhi-based Institute of Transport has said.
"We need a wide range of strategies," Bharat Indu Singal said at a plenary forum on "New Vision for Sustainable Urban Transport," here today.
Supports for such strategies were coming as the Indian government has already launched an ambitious capacity building programme to upgrade skills for planning good urban transport policies, he told the forum, which is part of the World Urban Transport Leaders Summit 2010 being held by Singapore Land Transport Authority June 30 to July 1.
Additionally, the government has also tied its financial aid with the cities bringing in reforms including institutional set ups.
"This has obviously worked," added Singal.
He pointed out that previously the institutions were weak and the urban transport was being managed by 20 odd agencies without any coordination either on planning or on operation.
On environment, he said, "We have improved emission standards, especially the percentage of sulphur in diesel and petrol is to be lowered to 0.5 per cent from 8 per cent
Singal has also called for immediate action on short-term and long-term plans for the cities.
The short-term would be to make the cities "walkable" by providing footpaths and non-motor traffic by providing cycle tracks.
For the long-term, he called for sustainable public transport system which must be city-wide to ensure people are able to complete the full journey.
"If the people have to worry about the first mile and the last mile of their journey, they would take out their cars," he said.
Furthermore, he stressed on the need for holistic planning in managing the public transport system and traffic network that would benefit the people.
All components of public urban transport must be planned in comprehensive and holistic manner and implemented together for full benefits, Singal said.
Lastly, he called for control on cities' urban outlays, as it would lengthen the public transport journey.
Singal also highlighted the need for people-friendly interchanges for changing transportation modes.
The interchanges should be vertical or adjacent but not 200 metre apart which would discourage people for taking a walk.