Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More efficient mobility is possible in India - Anant

A lot more efficient mobility is possible by devoting tax funds for free or nearly-free public transit. Several other externalities such as higher pollution, crashes and lost public space could be avoided. Sadly, that is not even an idea in India. Car makers have descended on our country and unleashed an onslaught that promises freedom from rickety public transport options that were designed just after World War II. Car companies have even successfully got cities like Chennai to rip up footpaths in favour of more space for vehicles.

In India's case, all taxpayers are subsidising the rise of cars by sacrificing walking space, opening flyovers, highways and parking spaces, and absorbing the public health costs of accidents mostly out of pocket. Hardly any revenue is being channelled into public transit expansion. -- Anant - commenting on Solar Funds and Auto Subsidy

We agree, mostly. Except two things.

First, it IS an idea in India. Not widespread, but our experience is that with a little advocacy, the idea of free public transport catches on fast. So do not be pessimistic on this item.

Second, there is a huge difference between FREE public transport and Low-Fare public transport. Go HERE to read more by our friend from Sweden on this subject.

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