Mumbai: ITDP frames new policy to tackle traffic congestion

Mumbai: Based on a survey conducted by the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) - a global and non-profit organisation that engages with cities’ worldwide providing technical expertise on sustainable transport projects, policy solution and capacity Development, has proposed a policy of 'Congestion Pricing', (CP) a tool aimed at decongesting traffic and increase the speed of travel in the most densely congested areas of the city.

According to the survey, more than 50% of the traffic during peak hours crawl below 20 kmph and the congestion on the road is entirely caused due to improper traffic management. Hence, as a result of de-clogging the traffic, the speed of commute has to increase.

“Mumbai needs travel management more than any other city in the world. On average, people are stuck in traffic at least for an hour every day,” stated Vaishali Singh, senior associate of urban planning and design while giving a presentation of her findings.

“In our research, we found only 19% of the Mumbaikars use non-public transport. These private cars eat away more 90 percent of the road space,” she added, also mentioning the Western Express Highway (WEH) and SV Road has maximum congestion compared to other parts of the city.

The CP policy will charge a fee to the private car owners every time they take a specified route which will, as a result, deter a number of private vehicles and will improve the speed of travel of those who are willing to pay and also for public transports as well.

“If we implement CP on the WEH that will deter a significant private car owners which will, as a result, lessen the congestion and improve the speed of transport in the highway,” informed Singh, further stating their survey has shown if CP policy will be implemented, a significant ratio of the pollution will shift to using public transport.

Singh also informed, the traffic congestion is caused because of 19 percent of Mumbaikars who commute on private cars and taxis and if this could be cut down by at least 3 percent then traffic in major areas of the Mumbai will be de-congested.

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