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Peter Newman on "Why Do We Need A Good Public Transport System" ?

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Public Transport

By Peter Newman Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute Western Australia

Car dependence is expensive. The link between the wealth of a city and its car use is very weak.

Good to read his works on thePublic Transport



kbsyed61's picture

Well Said - Cars don't represent development!

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Peter Newman is right, more cars doesn't necessarily means more development.

blrpraj's picture

visit london

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One needs to just visit London or Paris to see why good public transportation system.

kbsyed61's picture

Future lies in Rail!

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Source - The Hindu

Interview with Peter Newman

"...What could ensure sustainability of transportation in our cities?

Cities that were built around cars no longer function. The poor are getting out farther and farther. Politics somehow revolves round cars, and it is very robust in nature.

We should provide space for pedestrians, bikes and public transport, in that order of priority. We in Australia have changed the discourse. We have won five elections successively while advocating public transport. We mobilised public opinion for more and more public transport.

blrpraj's picture

e-bikes for short commutes

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I test rode one of these recently -

Makes an excellent vehicle for short commutes if priced well. Would be a hit if it is SOLAR powered so that i becomes truly green. Combine this with ability to take it on the metro rail then it would be a truly sustainable form of transport.


srinidhi's picture

why cars?

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was wonder why people still prefer cars over PT..some of the points are:

Cars offer:

  • safety
  • no last mile issues
  • flexible schdules
  • Privacy
  • cleaner?

Maybe if we can approach from these points, we can get more people shifting over to PT..

s_yajaman's picture

It gives another option

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A lot of people ask me if Bangalore Metro will solve traffic problems.  I always reply, "Yes, if you choose to use it".  The Metro's purpose, in my opinion, is not to take cars of the roads so that the remaining cars have a good time.  It is meant to give an option to people to commute in a predictable and relatively inexpensive way (vs. autos e.g.).  

Public transport is also inclusive.  In all our debates we forget the 2-3 million children and senior citizens who cannot drive cars or motorbikes but have the same need to travel.  Children should not have to depend on us to ferry them everywhere.  It robs them of that much needed independence.  Similarly senior citizens who either cannot drive or cannot afford autos should have an option.  

When we went for a holiday to Japan it was the public transport that allowed us to visit so many places without worrying about blowing a hole in our pockets.  It was comfortable, clean and widespread and most Japanese used it as their primary means of transport.  


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Vasanth's picture

Cars.. Alternatives

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Regarding why cars:

Cars offer:

  • safety : Public transport offers similar safety as cars except while boarding and alighting. Metro is OK in terms of boarding and alighting, buses are the problem with buses not stopping in bus stop etc. BRT with level boarding as employed by Bogota/ Curitiba / even our own Janmarg. Night times, sometimes PT is safer, except for the last mile. Drunk people are a problem in PT during night times.
  • no last mile issues : This is where car / 2 wheeler doesn't face. Park and ride a car / 2 wheeler/ best of all bicycle would be good. TTMCs provide this option, limited in Metro stations even in future planned. Again, due to unorganized growth of the city, connecting to nooks and corners have become a challenge.
  • flexible schdules : increased frequency and even intelligence transport can improve this.
  • Privacy - PT systems cannot give this.
  • cleaner? - Delhi Metro and even our own Namma Metro is cleaner. BMTC buses are maintained poorly. Even in Volvos, seats are soiled. Our Railways is not cleaner mainly due to toilets directly disposing on tracks.

Another factor is pricing, BMTC is more expensive than 2 wheelers for shorter stages, and for short trips Volvos are expensive than cars. Metro so far is attractively priced and cleaner. Have to wait and see how BMRCL handles in future.

How to make PT attractive

Reasonably priced. Mainly the short stages of BMTC should be priced lower. Right now first stage is Rs.5 and second stage is Rs.9. Even 2 kms costs Rs.9 most of the time.

Make PT faster than cars. Metros are obviously faster. Feeder Monos / Light rail planned is not progessing anywhere, so is BRTS.


MaheshK's picture

Mindset has to change

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The mindset of the janata has to change. Those who can look beyond will certainly use PT. How many cars have been off the road from Indiranagar to MG Road after the Metro startup? No one knows. I used to go by bus to office and back when I worked in Canada. Someone else drives, not me.

Diesel cars are not clean. There is more pollution from them as compared to petrol cars. More diesel cars are being released due to the fuel price. What happens in the future for diesel fuel is irrelevent. Now it is cheaper, people will go for it.

Adding to the list for Cars:

Status symbol (expensive cars)

Ego (you have no car? we have a brand new Honda City)

Affordable price (Nano)


Availability of plenty of used cars

murali772's picture

government on a totally different track!

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The government has decided to enhance capital infusion into the Public Sector (PSU) banks over and above what was provided in the budget to enable them to extend more credit to auto and consumer durables sectors to stimulate demand and combat slowdown.

For the full report in Business Today, click here.

Does anybody need say more?

Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture

re: cars..alternatives

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>> buses are the problem with buses not stopping in bus stop etc

Just an observation regarding this; when i was in Edinburg, me and my family were waiting at a bus stop and when we saw our bus arrive and stop behind 3 or 4 buses at the bus stop we did our usual Indian thing and out of habit ran towards that bus. The driver did not open the door and he pointed forward towards the bus stop. :-) we got the message. I wish the same thing can be applicable in Bangalore. To make the system work, both, the passengers as well as drivers have to be disciplined but i guess in Bangalore, both will point fingers at each other; sheer volume of people also compounds the problem. comment guidelines

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