Ease of Moving Index 2018 report by Ola’s Mobility Institute states that nearly 80% of commuters believe that the first and last mile connectivity acts as a major catalyst in improving the public transport ridership.
Mobility is one of the many factors that are responsible for driving the economic growth in the country. As per the report, nearly 70% of public transport users rely on cabs, autos and non-motorized transports (NMTs), at present. It is crystal clear that users either walk, or take an auto or a cab to reach the nearest public transport service such as a bus stand, metro station or local station.
If only the government decides to fix the gap between the first-and-the-last mile connectivity, the ridership in public transport will go up as 60 per cent of the current non-users will be willing to shift to public transport. As present, 34 per cent of total transportation across India is of public transport. While 58 per cent of commuters opt for their personal vehicles (two wheelers or four wheelers) for transportation, mere 8 per cent use shared transportation, according to a report by McKinsey.
In India, on account of public transport being affordable, time-saving and convenient, more than 80 per cent of commuters rely on public transport. The report by Ola confirms that while Delhi provides the most comfortable transport to its citizens, Kolkata offers the most affordable transport services. Ahmedabad offers the cleanest public transport services. As Patna is well-served by intermediate public transport (IPTs), it leads the way in the least travel time required to for work trips. While Mumbai ranks sixth with an index of 4.95 in the ease of mobility index, Kolkata (5.42) leads the way, followed by New Delhi (5.32) and Chennai (5.27).
With the high willingness of passengers to use public transport, policies can be made catering to the specific needs of different users by improving service levels, real time information, providing clean public transport, improving frequency and better route planning.
As per a report of the World Bank, India’s rural areas account for 70 per cent of India’s population. Also, nearly 33 per cent of Indian villages do not have access to all-weather roads and cut off during the monsoon season. The major problem is with India’s northern and northeastern regions that are poorly linked to the country’s major economic centres.
A good quality infrastructure is necessary for ease of moving. Infrastructure development is one of the key interest areas of the current government. The Union Budget for 2018-19 gave a massive push to national highways as the budgetary allocation was pegged at Rs 710 billion, up from Rs 610 billion allocated during 2017-18. Also, India bagged the 77th rank in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business rankings due to the improvement in granting of construction permits. A jump of 23 notches states that the country is heading towards improving mobility. This improvement is backed by initiatives like Smart City Mission, Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Metro Rail projects.
People, infrastructure and sustainability are the three main pillars that are highlighted in the report. These pillars of mobility determine the health of a city’s mobility. The Index is aimed at supporting policy-makers, planners and practitioners and businesses to identify mobility requirements of cities in India, challenges faced by the public and aspirations of the citizens. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister, Road Transport and Highways said, “The index comprehensively captures the various parameters that define sustainable mobility along with an emphasis on the future of mobility which includes cashless transactions, technology-based mobility, clean fuels and the need for encouraging non-motorised transportation.”
Bhubaneshwar ranks first under the pillar of infrastructure, amongst 20 cities that are covered in the index, while it ranks 16th under the pillar of people. Also, citizens are concerned over environmental issues and are demanding for environment-friendly mobility. Nearly 75 per cent of the respondents are of the opinion that electric vehicles will be replacing conventional vehicles by 2030.
“India has the potential to lead the mobility economy and demonstrate a transportation ecosystem that is shared, sustainable and accessible to all," added Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ola.