International Development Planning Review

The urban transport challenge in India: Considerations, implications and strategies

International Development Planning Review (2005), 27, (2), 169–194.

Abstract

Motor-vehicle activity is growing rapidly, and causing a wide range of adverse impacts, in Indian cities. Although the poor benefit the least from motor-vehicle activity, they bear the brunt of its impacts. The need to meet this and other urban challenges grows ever more urgent, but Indian cities face constrained resources. The urban transport challenge is one of meeting growing mass mobility needs while minimising negative impacts, given the realities of the context. The factors that contribute to the urban transport challenge, and the constraints that affect the ability to address the problem, are first discussed. The transport needs and priorities, in particular of the poor majority, are highlighted. The importance of adequate infrastructure for non-motorised modes and public transit service is justified, based on these needs and priorities, and contextual capabilities and constraints. Finally, the paper proposes some strategies for addressing challenges with respect to these modes.

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Badami, Madhav