M Ramachandran: Managing city transport

M Ramachandran: Managing city transport: London is a good example of how integrated and proactive decision making can ensure an organised transportation system in a large city...

City transport systems

This refers to the article “Managing city transport” (Business Standard, September 18) by M Ramachandran. In the short article the writer has brilliantly covered the efforts of Transport for London (TfL) to provide comfortable transport facilities in a large city like London. TfL could be a reference model for any city in the world with the only rider that transport facilities, like any other service with masses as clientele, will have to take into account the local needs, geography and economic viability while taking innovative ideas experimented elsewhere to the drawing board.
In the Indian context, TfL model which has a mix of walking, cycling and other modes of transport may perhaps suit some of the Tier II or Tier III cities. This is not because metropolitan cities in India are bigger than London. The reasons include inadequacy of space for development of infrastructure including wide roads and shortage of funds for modernisation of existing infrastructure. But such constraints should not stop us from thinking differently and modernising transport system including Railways in a big way.
Having stayed in Mumbai for the last 30 years, I am witness to the grave injustice meted out to users of suburban local trains. From tracks to signal systems, from doors of bogies to toilets in stations the whole suburban Railway infrastructure in Mumbai is awaiting modernisation. Travel discipline, from entry to platform to exit is conspicuous by its absence. Overcrowded compartments (including First Class and Ladies Compartments) are inaccessible during peak hours for Railway Officials for any checking. Many accidents are caused by passengers trying to enter or get out of moving trains. While Metros and new airports get priority, safety and comfort in the suburban locals, which are used by millions of workers everyday, are totally neglected.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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