Gurgaon Metro Service Begins: Public Transport is solution to Traffic

The long-awaited metro rail service from the suburb of Gurgaon near the Indian capital, New Delhi opened to commuters commuters today morning. The 5.1km (3.16-mile) stretch of elevated track has six stations and is the first one in India built by a public-private partnership. The journey through Gurgaon’s congested business district (home to a number of multinational companies, often described as India’s “millennium city” with bustling call centre and outsourcing activities) will take 13 minutes.

It’s hoped the Gurgaon Metro Service will ease traffic congestion in the area.

Notably, the metro was planned in 2009 and work began on it in 2010. The first section of the metro is part of a proposed 12km (7.45-mile) network with an equal number of stations which is due to be completed by 2015.

Interestingly more than 200,000 or 2 Lakh vehicles enter and exit Gurgaon every day crowding the existing connecting roads and an expressway linking the suburb with Delhi. It’s expected that a third of this traffic will get shifted to the metro rails, courtesy Gurgaon Metro Service.

Public Transport is solution to Traffic problem in Gurgaon, Delhi, other metros and India

We often discuss how developing cycling or pedestrian infrastructure in metros and major cities in India can ease the roads of the traffic congestion. The thought is noble, going by the tons of benefits it can offer to the cyclists and walkers (health and money benefits). The thought is noble as it can offer the planet some relief from pollutants. But, such a cycling and pedestrian culture is hard to implement in India. Even when the Governments in the Centre and the state try to develop the supporting infrastructure.

The biggest problem here is the climate. Most of India is tropical or or Extreme climate (Too cold and Too hot). This means that, even the staunchest of health and climate advocators can’t cycle or walk to office, home or elsewhere. This is more difficult in metros and business districts, as no office goer will want to reach office all sweats.

Another difficulty is the status consciousness. If India is getting wealthy now, then it will be hard to disembark newly rich from their cars.

This leaves us with just one option: Create World Class and Safe Public Transport in India. A public transport sophisticated enough to encourage a car owner to instinctively choose the public transport. After all public transports like Metro, do save time, as they don’t have to wait for traffic signals to turn green.

BTW, the BRT Corridors for better public transport on road was also a good idea. Only that its timing was wrong. Unless you shift the traffic to rails (metro rail or local rail), you will never get enough space on roads to run exclusive Bus Rapid Transport corridors.

The Governments must focus on public transport on rails, followed by on road and finally must focus on Cyclists and pedestrians. After All a cyclist needs most safe space on modern roads.

One more thing Government must focus on is to plan cities in such a way that people have their offices not more than ten minutes from their homes. Companies on their part, can encourage Work from Home culture. I do work from Home.