In India, like in so many other parts of the world, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has struck a massive blow to urban transportation. Therefore on Monday Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, while addressing the 13th Urban Mobility India Conference on the theme ‘Emerging Trends in Urban Mobility’ said, that India is likely to experience a behavioral change in urban mobility in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and added the future of mobility is about an attempt towards environment-friendly, integrated, automated and personalized travel on demand.
Due to the Covid19 outbreak, a newfound aptitude for working from home, probably there is an overall reduced demand and an increased preference for personal modes of transport. Unhindered, there is a high likelihood that there would be a permanent modal shift towards automobiles that would spatially and environmentally overload our cities and substantively impact our quality of life.
According to Hardeep Singh puri, Undeniably the pandemic brought a major loss in the Indian economy hence to curb it, this ongoing crisis gives an opportunity to guide the recovery of urban transport towards long-term development goals. Transport networks in Indian cities, whether public or private, road, or rail-based, are severely overburdened.
Therefore, effective enhancement Investment in infrastructure would give more productive circulation and interchange of people and goods, and eventually, it will reflect an economic multiplier effect, both in job-creation in the present and boosting growth and productivity in the future.
He added, according to various studies, nearly 16 to 57 percent of urban commuters are pedestrian and around 30 to 40 percent of urban commuters use bicycles depending on the size of the city.
It rests on three key pillars – promotion of public transport system, leveraging technological advancements, and penetration of NMT systems in the urban transport paradigm.
He added, according to various studies, nearly 16 to 57 percent of urban commuters are pedestrian and around 30 to 40 percent of urban commuters use bicycles depending on the size of the city. Hence by taking forward to this opportunity, promoting the necessities of these modes will provide options for another private vehicle alternative, which is clean, safe, secured particularly if it is integrated with other modes and affordable for all. Also, It stated that non-motorized transport will occupy the prime, non-negotiable, position in every form of urban mobility discourse and intervention.
In this way we will be able to moderate the demand for the private automobile, adequately increase transit supply, allow for social distancing, and cater to the long under-invested transportation infrastructure of our cities. since Transport is the backbone around which a city functions. A radical transformation is needed and India must use this crisis as an opportunity.