Sustainable Urban Transport in India: Role of the Auto-Rickshaw Sector
Across India, auto-rickshaws are becoming an increasingly important part of urban transport in cities. Currently, the number of auto-rickshaws in India ranges from 15,000 to 30,000 in medium-sized cities (population between 1 and 4 million) to more than 50,000 in large cities (population greater than 4 million). Now, the World Resources Institute and EMBARQ are releasing the most comprehensive report ever on auto-rickshaws.
The report, “Sustainable Urban Transport in India: Role of the Auto-rickshaw Sector,” by Akshay Mani, Madhav Pai and Rishi Aggarwal, examines the role auto-rickshaws play in promoting public transport usage and reducing private motor vehicle trips in cities. The report also provides a policy vision for the auto-rickshaw sector that improves sustainable urban transport in India.
The publication highlights the need for regulatory reforms to promote dispatch services and vehicle-related reforms to address emissions and road safety. Adopting these reforms is key to ensuring that auto-rickshaws contribute to a more efficient, clean and safe transport system.
Statement by Akshay Mani, Project Manager – Urban Transport, EMBARQ India
“Given the current urban transport trends and challenges, such as rising emissions and road fatalities, there is a critical need to promote more sustainable transport options in India. Implementing the recommended reforms – such as the promotion of fleet-based dispatch services and vehicle improvements – will be key to ensure that auto-rickshaws can serve as an effective alternative to private motor vehicles. These reforms are essential to mitigate the environmental and road safety challenges that currently exist in this sector.”
- Market size of auto-rickshaws varies from around 15,000 to 30,000 vehicles in Tier II cities (population between 1 and 4 million) to more than 50,000 in Tier I cities (population greater than 4 million). Mumbai has the largest market with around 150,000 auto-rickshaws.
- Auto-rickshaws serve between 10-20 percent of daily motorized road transport trips for people in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Rajkot.
- Production of auto-rickshaws in India has doubled between 2003 and 2010.
- High concentration of particulate matter less than 10 microns (PM10) in Indian cities is a key public health issue. Auto-rickshaws running on two-stroke engines are a major contributor to PM10 emissions.
- Contrary to popular belief, auto-rickshaws are the second safest motorized mode of travel (after buses) for pedestrians, in terms of contribution to fatalities, in both Mumbai and Bangalore.
- However, safety of auto-rickshaw occupants is a key issue of concern, due to mixed-flow traffic conditions in Indian cities as well as current vehicle design aspects, which needs to be addressed urgently.
- Meanwhile, the population of Indian cities will grow from an estimated 340 million in 2008 to 590 million by 2030.
The publication is available online at: http://www.embarq.org/en/sustainable-urban-transport-india-role-auto-rickshaw-sector
Read blog posts by Akshay Mani at: http://thecityfix.com/blog/author/akshay142
Watch and link to videos at: www.embarq.org/multimedia
- Mumbai Rickshaws: http://www.embarq.org/en/video/cities-focus-mumbai-rickshaws
- Vikram: http://www.embarq.org/en/video/snapshot-vikram
- Vatsala: http://www.embarq.org/en/video/snapshot-vatsala
The report will be launched Friday, February 10, at Rickshaw Rising – An Auto-rickshaw Entrepreneurship Summit, in Mumbai, India: http://www.embarq.org/en/events/12/02/rickshaw-rising
For more information about the launch or to set up interviews, contact:
Erica Schlaikjer, EMBARQ, Media Relations Coordinator, (202) 729-7722, firstname.lastname@example.org; or
Lauren Zelin, WRI, Senior Press Officer, (202) 729-7736; email@example.com
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