Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is Public Transport a drain on cities?

Public Transport activists are often told by the local city administration/government that Public Transport is a big problem as it is a drain on the coffers of the city. "Public Transport loses money and the city can't afford to subsidize it beyond a certain extent.

A big lie, because profit and loss from public transport (transit) can't be worked out from fare (ticket ) collection alone. One must quantify the invisible benefits to the city from a well functioning public transport system. Add up the cost of air, soil and noise pollution on the city and health of its citizens, add up the cost of medication to treat respiratory diseases, hypertension, heart disease and even cancers directly or indirectly connected to automobile effluents. Add up the cost of never-ending road construction, flyovers, underpasses, accidents and stress of driving in congestion primarily caused by personal automobiles. Add to this the cost of building parking lots and other infrastructure for the automobile and you'll begin to see the real cost of automobile dominated city planning.

You will then see how much Public Transport users subsidize the city because public transport vehicles cause far less pollution, contribute far less to road congestion and accidents when compared to personal auto vehicles. If more people use public transit the city will be a much better place to live in.

But people won't get out of their personal auto vehicles unless public transit is economical and unless the city puts in place severe constraints (like expensive parking levies, congestion charging and creation of car-free areas). Free Public Transport can thus become an important step to move in this direction.

Sujit Patwardhan
Pune, India

Monday, November 7, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

gulfnews : Free Public Transport Day in Dubai hailed a success

Commuters opt for public buses at Satwa bus station. There was a huge increase in passengers on Public Transport Day in Dubai on Tuesday.
gulfnews : Free Public Transport Day in Dubai hailed a success: "Dubai: Free Public Transport Day marked on Tuesday saw a 34 per cent increase in the number of passengers as 693,221 people used public transport compared to 515,828 on the same day last year, a senior RTA official has revealed.
The figure is the highest number of people ever to use public transport in a single day in Dubai.
Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the numbers using Dubai Metro, public buses and water buses on Free Public Transport Day fulfilled the purpose of the initiative and hailed it as a success."

'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Arab Emirates investing big in public #transit

Sharjah Transport on a makeover trip: "SHARJAH - Sharjah Transport has embarked on an ambitious plan to improve its public transport services, including introducing electronic tracking system, building shaded bus stops and starting or rationalising bus routes."

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 23, 2011

Two million sick from Pakistan floods -- Earth Changes --

Two million sick from Pakistan floods -- Earth Changes -- "Two million Pakistanis have fallen ill from diseases since monsoon rains left the southern region under several feet of water, the country's disaster authority said Thursday. "

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Study: Indian Cities Score Low in Walkability Ratings | TheCityFix

Lack of pedestrian facilities in Indian cities lead to low walkability scores and points to the urgency with which policies must address this neglect. Photo by Satish Krishnamurthy.
New Study: Indian Cities Score Low in Walkability Ratings | TheCityFix: "“Indian cities were built for walking and cycling. However, rapid motorization combined with limited attention to pedestrian facilities has inadvertently resulted in a decrease in the overall mode share for non-motorized transport. Strategies must be incorporated in order for people to reclaim the urban environment overrun by motor vehicles. Policies and investments provide an impetus to transform Indian cities, encourage pedestrianization and allow people to enjoy better mobility and quality of life.”"

'via Blog this'

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Not all public transit is equal

Straphangers United: "How is that swanky Japanese Metro and Monorail trains to be built at a cost of more than 5 billion dollars in Chennai will co-exist with another set of urban train systems that have filthy station approaches – literally filled with human excrement?"

'via Blog this'

Friday, September 9, 2011

Invest 1% GDP to Improve Public Transport - southindia - Andhra Pradesh - ibnlive

Invest 1% GDP to Improve Public Transport - southindia - Andhra Pradesh - ibnlive: "PUDUCHERRY:� The government needs to invest at least one percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in public transport systems to reduce the number of vehicles on the road and reduce emission of green house gases (GHG) to create sustainable cities, said Peter Head, director of Arup.
Speaking at a workshop on ‘Regenerative Townships of Tomorrow’, organised at Auroville on Thursday, he said such a measure would reduce GHG by 78 per cent. “Costs of mitigation of around 1% of GDP are small relative to the costs and relative to the risks of climate change that will be avoided,” Peter� said"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Public transport must be made free for everyone

The Hindu : Cities / Chennai : How free bus passes are being misused: "R. Balasubramanian, a former Managing Director of MTC, says: “Electronic ticketing and smartcards could solve much of the problem as MTC moved away from the token system to avoid printing costs. Public transport must also be made free for everyone and it must be subsidised through a combination of Central and State government assistance. In most U.S. cities, 65 per cent of the public transit expenditure is federally funded. Schemes such as JNNURM must be a continuous process, instead of a one-time grant.”"

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Students 'free ride' agitation to stall city buses today - The Times of India

Students 'free ride' agitation to stall city buses today - The Times of India: "BHUBANESWAR: The city bus service in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri is likely to be paralysed on Tuesday with the student wing of Congress threatening to stall the public transport system to press for their demand of 'free rides' in the vehicles.

The 'green rider' buses were stalled for a few hours on Monday as well with hundreds of students of Utkal University and various city-based colleges staging sit-ins at several places in Bhubaneswar. No such strike was reported in Cuttack, though some students staged demonstrations at Pipili in Puri district, affecting the bus service."

Monday, June 13, 2011

Global study reveals climate peril for millions of poor | Reuters

Eight-year-old Ali Asghar waits for customers as he sells roasted corn at a makeshift stall in Abbottabad May 18, 2011.
Credit: Reuters/Akhtar Soomro

Global study reveals climate peril for millions of poor | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Millions of people already living in poverty are on a collision course with hotter and more variable weather that threatens crop yields and livestock, a global study on climate change 'hotspots' has found."

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Nuclear Plants = Compulsory genetic engineering while energy is being wasted in traffic jams.

Fukushima lessons « LOKAYAT: "And then Cesium 137, it’s half life is 30 years. It lasts for 600 years. The same with Strontium 90, and I could go on and on down the Periodic Table of the list of all the elements. This is on-going. And not what’s more, if a man’s genes mutated in his testicles by plutonium, which has a particular predilection for testicles, then the genes, the damaged genes transmit it generation to generation, while the plutonium lives on. And if the man gets cremated, it can be inhaled by another man and get into his testicles ad infinitum.
So you can see an exponential increase in genetic disease. There are now 2,600 such diseases like Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, dwarfism, and the like. My specialty is Cystic Fibrosis. And they will increase in frequency down the generations, and that’s the legacy we leave: random compulsory genetic engineering for the rest of time."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

India's crops affected by erratic climate -

India's crops affected by erratic climate - "NEW DELHI, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A number of India's key crops are experiencing the effects of climate change, experts say.

H Pathak, an investigator with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute's Climate Change Challenge Program, said global warming isn't limited to a rise in average temperatures."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Hindu : Cities / Chennai : Free public transport makes sense

The Hindu : Cities / Chennai : Free public transport makes sense: "Since the benefits of public transit are broader than are apparent with strict financial book-keeping, is there a rationale for universal free public transport?

Can Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses be made completely free for everyone to use? The idea might sound utopian, but experts point out that there is sound logic behind offering free public transit."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cold weather kills more in northern India - Yahoo! News

AP – An Indian man takes a nap in the sun as pigeons fly around him on a cold day in New Delhi, India, Friday, …
Cold weather kills more in northern India - Yahoo! News: "LUCKNOW, India – Near-freezing temperatures have killed more than two dozen people in northern India in recent days despite government efforts to distribute blankets and medicine to the poor, an official and a news report said.
In worst-hit Uttar Pradesh state, at least 22 people — many of them homeless — died over the past three days, pushing the death toll from two weeks of cold weather to 63, Ram Mohan Srivastav, a top government official, said Saturday."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Nepal Has 11 Hour Blackouts as Climate Change Dries up its Rivers – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views

Nepal Has 11 Hour Blackouts as Climate Change Dries up its Rivers – CleanTechnica: Cleantech innovation news and views: "The state-run Nepal Electricity Authority has had to cut power for 11 hours a day beginning this week, because river water levels have dropped dramatically, according to AllHeadlineNews.

With its steep terrain topped by glaciers, Nepal has the greatest hydro power potential in the world, at 84,000 megawatts. To date, only a small portion of that has been developed, 600 megawatts – enough to serve a small population who live a much less energy-intensive life than people in the US.

But, with warming, over the last few years, Nepal’s glaciers have already been retreating."

Monday, January 3, 2011

India's hidden climate change catastrophe - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent

Sugali Nagamma holds a portrait of her husband,
 who killed himself by swallowing pesticide in front of her

India's hidden climate change catastrophe - Climate Change, Environment - The Independent: "Naryamaswamy Naik went to the cupboard and took out a tin of pesticide. Then he stood before his wife and children and drank it. 'I don't know how much he had borrowed. I asked him, but he wouldn't say,' Sugali Nagamma said, her tiny grandson playing at her feet. 'I'd tell him: don't worry, we can sell the salt from our table.'
Ms Nagamma, 41, showed us a picture of her husband – good-looking with an Elvis-style hairdo – on the day they married a quarter of a century ago. 'He'd been unhappy for a month, but that day he was in a heavy depression. I tried to take the tin away from him but I couldn't. He died in front of us. The head of the family died in front of his wife and children – can you imagine?'"