India loses USD 22 bn a year in peak traffic hours: Report

New Delhi : The top four Indian cities are today 149 per cent more congested than comparable cities in Asia and the country is losing over USD 22 billion a year in peak traffic hours compared to travel time during non-peak hours in those cities, an Uber-commissioned study revealed on Wednesday.

On average, commuters in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata are taking 1.5 times longer to travel a given distance and ride sharing or shared mobility is the only solution to get rid of the traffic menace, said the study titled ‘Unlocking Cities: The impact of ridesharing across India’ by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), reports IANS.

“We continue to be at the forefront when it comes to unlocking the true potential of ride sharing for India. Through this study, we are hoping to draw the attention of administrators and urban planners on how shared cars and mobility can be part of the solution versus individual car ownership,” Amit Jain, President, Uber India and South Asia, told reporters here. According to the BCG survey, up to 89 per cent of people plan to buy a new car in the next five years. However, over 79 per cent would refrain from buying a car if ride sharing matches car ownership for affordability and convenience, it added. The study was launched in the presence of Uber’s Global COO Barney Harford, Suresh Subudhi, Partner, BCG and Ann Lavin, Senior Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Uber APAC.

“If car ownership trends continue, Indian cities risk coming to a complete standstill in only a few years,” said Harford. “Ridesharing can be part of the solution to traffic congestion because it uses technology to get more people into fewer cars. We can unlock our cities and their full potential, but we have to do it together,” he added. In these circumstances, ride sharing would reduce private cars by 33-68 per cent. By reducing private cars, increasing vehicle utilisation, improving public transport adoption, and optimising infrastructure planning, ridesharing could reduce congestion by 17-31 per cent, the findings showed.

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