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Urban transport crisis in India


  • Pucher, John
  • Korattyswaropam, Nisha
  • Mittal, Neha
  • Ittyerah, Neenu


Indian cities face a transport crisis characterized by levels of congestion, noise, pollution, traffic fatalities and injuries, and inequity far exceeding those in most European and North American cities. India's transport crisis has been exacerbated by the extremely rapid growth of India's largest cities in a context of low incomes, limited and outdated transport infrastructure, rampant suburban sprawl, sharply rising motor vehicle ownership and use, deteriorating bus services, a wide range of motorized and non-motorized transport modes sharing roadways, and inadequate as well as uncoordinated land use and transport planning. This article summarizes key trends in India's transport system and travel behavior, analyzes the extent and causes of the most severe problems, and recommends nine policy improvements that would help mitigate India's urban transport crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Pucher, John & Korattyswaropam, Nisha & Mittal, Neha & Ittyerah, Neenu, 2005. "Urban transport crisis in India," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 185-198, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:185-198

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gakenheimer, Ralph, 1999. "Urban mobility in the developing world," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 33(7-8), pages 671-689.
    2. Padam, Sudarsanam & Singh, Sanjay Kumar, 2004. "Urbanization and urban transport in India: the search for a policy," European Transport \ Trasporti Europei, ISTIEE, Institute for the Study of Transport within the European Economic Integration, issue 27, pages 26-44.
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    1. Zenou, Yves, 2011. "Search, migration, and urban land use: The case of transportation policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 174-187, November.
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    3. Motasemi, F. & Afzal, Muhammad T. & Salema, Arshad Adam & Moghavvemi, M. & Shekarchian, M. & Zarifi, F. & Mohsin, R., 2014. "Energy and exergy utilization efficiencies and emission performance of Canadian transportation sector, 1990–2035," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 355-366.
    4. Ong, H.C. & Mahlia, T.M.I. & Masjuki, H.H., 2011. "A review on emissions and mitigation strategies for road transport in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(8), pages 3516-3522.
    5. Dhar, Subash & Shukla, Priyadarshi R., 2015. "Low carbon scenarios for transport in India: Co-benefits analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 186-198.
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    8. Dalal, Pamela & Sikder, Saiyid Hassan & Goulias, Konstadinos G., 2008. "An Exploratory Analysis of Transportation Household Expenditures in the Greater Sylhet Area in Bangladesh," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6q8508wh, University of California Transportation Center.
    9. Verma, Meghna & Rahul, T.M. & Reddy, Peesari Vamshidhar & Verma, Ashish, 2016. "The factors influencing bicycling in the Bangalore city," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 29-40.
    10. Cristina ALPOPI & Sofia Elena COLESCA, 2010. "Management Of Public Passenger Transport Services During Economic Crisis," Proceedings of Administration and Public Management International Conference, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 6(1), pages 104-121, June.
    11. Chidambaram, Bhuvanachithra & Janssen, Marco A. & Rommel, Jens & Zikos, Dimitrios, 2014. "Commuters’ mode choice as a coordination problem: A framed field experiment on traffic policy in Hyderabad, India," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 9-22.
    12. Ahmad, Sohail & Puppim de Oliveira, Jose A., 2016. "Determinants of urban mobility in India: Lessons for promoting sustainable and inclusive urban transportation in developing countries," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 106-114.
    13. Ponnaluri, Raj V., 2011. "Sustainable Bus Rapid Transit initiatives in India: The role of decisive leadership and strong institutions," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 269-275, January.
    14. Sudhakara Reddy, B. & Balachandra, P., 2012. "Urban mobility: A comparative analysis of megacities of India," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 152-164.
    15. Rahman, Syed & Balijepalli, Chandra, 2016. "Understanding the determinants of demand for public transport: Evidence from suburban rail operations in five divisions of Indian Railways," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 13-22.
    16. Xie, Chunping & Hawkes, Adam D., 2015. "Estimation of inter-fuel substitution possibilities in China's transport industry using ridge regression," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 260-267.
    17. Iyer, Narayan V. & Badami, Madhav G., 2007. "Two-wheeled motor vehicle technology in India: Evolution, prospects and issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4319-4331, August.
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    20. Suman, Hemant K. & Bolia, Nomesh B. & Tiwari, Geetam, 2017. "Comparing public bus transport service attributes in Delhi and Mumbai: Policy implications for improving bus services in Delhi," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 63-74.
    21. Malayath, Manoj & Verma, Ashish, 2013. "Activity based travel demand models as a tool for evaluating sustainable transportation policies," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 45-66.
    22. SINGH Sanjay, 2016. "Assessment Of Passenger Satisfaction With Public Bus Transport Services: A Case Study Of Lucknow City (India)," Studies in Business and Economics, Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Economic Sciences, vol. 11(3), pages 107-128, December.
    23. Mahlia, T.M.I. & Tohno, S. & Tezuka, T., 2012. "History and current status of the motor vehicle energy labeling and its implementation possibilities in Malaysia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 1828-1844.

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