Getting to Metro station can cost more than ride

Newspaper: The Times of India
Date: 16th October 2017
Source Link: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/getting-to-metro-station-can-cost-more-than-ride/articleshow/61095639.cms

Study Brings Home Failure of Last-Mile Links Experts Say Multi-Modal Integration Key To Reducing Congestion In City

Getting to Metro station can cost more than rideFor the average Metro rider, the non-Metro part of the commute -getting to the station and to the final destination after the ride -is just 20% of the total journey distance. Yet, riders spend more than 50% of travel cost and over 40% of commute time on this part of the journey, a study has revealed.

The disproportionate time and money spent on non Metro segment of commutes shows that while the Metro network remains fast, cheap and convenient, Delhi has a long way to go in providing last-mile connectivity. The study was conducted by CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CSIR-CRRI). Transport experts said the study again highlights the need for multi-modal integration (MMI) in the capital to ensure that commuters have smooth access to Metro stations and also ease congestion on roads.

The study is part of a larger research commissioned by the Centre for `Development and Application of Technologies for Sustainable Transportation' (SUSTRANS).

The study shows that about 50% of feeder trips (from and to Metro stations) are through walking and the remaining by all available modes, cycle-rickshaw, auto, bus etc. Integration among these modes, especially between feeder and major modes is very important to attract commuters to the mass transit system, “ said Errampalli Madhu, principal scientist and head of transportation and planning division of CSIR-CRRI.

Getting to Metro station can cost more than ride

Though Metro is seen as a solution to the growing traffic problem in Delhi, experts say the city cannot solely rely on it. “Metro alone can't solve the congestion problem. There is a need to integrate all the other modes of transportation for seamless travel. There should be some incentive for people to shift to public transport. Quality of travel is an important factor, “ said Amit Bhatt, director transport, WRI India.

In the absence of an integrated system, there is chaos outside most Metro stations, as cycle-rickshaws autos are haphazardly parked on main roads resulting in traffic bottlenecks. It also leaves little space for safe pedestrian movement. Under MMI, all modes of public transports are integrated with the Metro stations so that commuters can take auto cycle-rickshaw bus from the station to reach their destinations. Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) has approved the guidelines for developing infrastructure at Metro stations for multi-modal integration.

Mukti Advani, senior scientist, CSIR-CRRI, said, “Vehicle movement plan for other modes of transport (bus, auto etc) around Metro stations and bus stops can help users in accessing them with ease, resulting in an acceptable integration. It will also help in sorting out the chaos around stations that leads to confusion and discomfort to public transport users and delays private vehicle users.“

While existing Metro stations don't have facilities for MMI, UTTIPEC has approved MMI proposals for 63 stations in phase III of Metro expansion, which will be developed by various agencies. UTTIPEC has also approved MMI proposals for 10 existing stations. UTTIPEC and DMRC officials say, as per the approved proposals, the focus is on providing pedestrian access to the station and developing infrastructure facilities for auto cycle-rickshaw buses, NMV lanes, cycle stands etc within a 300m radius of the station.

Anumita Roychowdhury , head of Centre for Science and Environment's air pollution and clean transportation programme, says that smooth pedestrian access to stations is very important.“The focus should be on developing infrastructure to facilitate pedestrian movement around mass transit. Under MMI, there should be infrastructure and fare integration for seamless travel,“ said Roychowdhury.

Madhu said implementation of MMI will lead to more commuters shifting to the Metro. “Even a 10% shift from private vehicles to mass transit would bring huge savings and difference in terms of air pollution and improve of quality of life.“