Transport lessons for Chennai from London

‘All investments going to Metro, but there is need for a higher number of buses’

August 01, 2019 01:18 am | Updated 01:18 am IST - CHENNAI

CHENNAI: 31-07-2019---- Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer Transport for London. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan/The Hindu

CHENNAI: 31-07-2019---- Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer Transport for London. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan/The Hindu

Transport for London (TfL), that is responsible for transportation in Greater London, may be roped in by the State government in the future for offering expertise to improve mobility in the city, highly placed sources said.

In a high-level meeting held in the city on Wednesday, authorities of various organisations, including the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai Metro Rail Limited and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority, met the representative from TfL to discuss a sustainable mobility option for the city.

“The idea of the meeting is not to think of quick fix solutions, but to think for the long term and see how we can have a more environmentally sustainable transport system in the city. We have to make this city more competitive in this respect. There was an elaborate discussion on the various aspects of transport in London,” said a senior official present at the meeting.

More buses

Later, addressing the media in the city, Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer, TfL, said all investments were going to the Metro Rail, but there was a need for a higher number of buses. “Chennai has one of the best bus networks, but there should be another 25,000-35,000 buses if you need a well functioning transport system. Despite having 42 rail lines, there are more bus journeys than rails in London,” he said. There should be good footpaths for the people to walk, he added.

“The cost of transportation is a barrier for the low income groups. Many of them also live in such a way that they have to take the most circuitous route to go to work,” he said. “Sometimes, they end up paying half their incomes in fares. The cost of transport [should be decided in such a way that] it is fair for everyone in the society,” he said.

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