(GIST OF YOJANA) Transforming Public Transport In India [JANUARY-2019]

(GIST OF YOJANA) Transforming Public Transport In India


Transforming Public Transport In India

With rapid growth of population in the cities and increase in motor vehicles, the urban space in India for creation of the necessary infrastructure is shrinking every year. An average of 60,000 vehicles are sold every day in India. On the other hand, the consistent growth of population is further widening the gap between demand and supply of public transport needs. At a time when traffic in mega cities like New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru is gradually is gradually slowing down the mobility, an effective public transport system like metro rail has become the core priority of urban administrations to ease the urban commutation.

Metro Rail, one of the popular mass transit modes is a form of public transport that operates on exclusive right-of-way and carries a large number of commuters in urban space. This system is operated on non-pollutant energy and is most preferable in densely populated urban spaces. Undoubtedly, the mass transit system is by far the most remarkable invention in public transport. The idea of having an exclusive transport system to provide comfortable means to commute was born out of the team emerging the idea of having an exclusive transport system to provide comfortable means to commute was born out of the then emerging issues of early urbanization in Britain, which led to the construction of underground train network in the late 19th century.

The Metros across the world have undoubtedly smoothened the public transport wherever they were introduced. Besides offering the best public transport, cities like Hong Kong and Tokyo are running Metros with operational profit. Delhi Metros too earned a spot as an operational profitable metro in the world. This success of Delhi Metro sparked a new era of Metro revolution in India. As of today, 524 kilometers of metro network is already operational in India and 620 Kilometers of network is under construction.

Traditional System: A Pollution Hazard

Large cities like Delhi and Mumbai have drastically changed over the past few decades. As predicted, the changing demography of urban space is posing complex challenges to urban administrations. One can observe that almost all major cities in the country are facing similar challenges in public transport. Unfortunately, the traditional means of public transport are outdated and carry only limited capacity. They are far from matching the growing needs of the population. Not to forget, they are also contributing to pollution and the never ending traffic woes. With people stuck in traffic, billions of productive working hours are lost every year. The stranded vehicles on roads are also intensifying the toxic emissions in the urban sphere.

Charging Urban Mobility Needs

Metro Rail is undoubtedly a landmark innovation in the public transport system. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the metro rail has completely changed the way urban mobility needs are met. But, building the metro alone does not ensure its successful operation. In order to make a system viable and reliable, we must constantly update the system to match the changing needs of commuters. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)’s success is owed to the countless innovative practices that were initiated in every stage of its journey.
When Delhi Metro began its operations in 2002, the global MRT sector already had advanced technology in place. In fact, we were quite late to enter the field, but, we made the best use of this delay. DMRC had an opportunity to adopt the best practices of efficient metros across the world and it did so.

Delhi Metro: Technology Survey

The trains brought in by the Delhi Metro were among the best in the world with sophisticated energy efficiency tools and they substantially improved the passengers’ convenience over three phases. Since the inception of its operations in 2002, the DMRC has been continuously improving the quality of services and added several new features to the equipments used for day-to-day operations.
For instance, the trains used by Delhi Metro in its phase-III expansion are equipped with unattended train operation mode, which enables the possibility of operating trains without drivers. With this, the Delhi Metro has joined the pool of very few highly advanced metro systems in the world. The Delhi Metro introduced the highly sophisticated ‘Communication Based Train Control (CBTC)’ system which enables headway improvement to about 90 seconds. In simple words, the CBTC system facilitates higher frequency of train operation, which subsequently helps transporting more people in busy hours. Other effective innovations include the installation of automatic screen doors on platforms which help maintain better crowd management. The LED screens installed inside the train coaches help commuters identify the destinations easily. In addition to this, announcements are made in the trains to inform commuters of current stations and next station to arrive. With such initiatives the Delhi Metro has managed to meet the high expectations of people of national capital region.

New Features

Most of the innovative ideas emerged from the changing needs and feedback of commuters. For instance, it was noticed that commuters might need to charge their laptops and phones while travelling. To facilitate this, power connections in all the 131 trains in phase-II were provided for them. Later on, USB plugins for charging facilities were also introduced.
The new rolling stock (trains) that has been acquired for Phase - III operations has many new features both in its interior as well as commuter facility points of view.

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The new features are as follows:

  •  There is a change in the look of the front cab of the trains. There is glass on the front emergency door to give it a better look.
  •  LED based lighting is used inside the trains. Presently, the rolling stock used in DMRC has fluorescent lighting.
  •  The display panels inside the trains are LED based, where graphics, public information messages and advertisements also will be aired if necessary. Currently, only the station names or messages are displayed there.
  •  The dynamic route maps have been changed to LCD technology for better understanding.
  •  The noise levels inside the trains have been reduced further from the present limit of 68 dB to 65 dB.
  •  Higher number of grab rails and grab handles have been provided for the convenience of the standing passengers.
  •  Broader gangways between the coaches provide more convenience to the commuters.

Energy Efficient Techniques

The introduction of Metro in Delhi did more than just smoothening the public transport. A large number of people in Delhi switched from private vehicles to the Metro in recent years. According to a study conducted by Central Road Research Institute, around 3,90,971 vehicles were taken off the roads after Metro started operating in Delhi. This in turn helped reduce around 5,53,203 tones of CO2 from environment every year. In fact, DMRC became the first railway project in the world to win carbon credits. The carbon credit is a permit which allows a country or organization to produce certain amount of emissions which can be traded if full allowance is not used.

Creating Awareness

The early years were more challenging for DMRC. When metro was launched, it was an alien system for many living in the close vicinity of metro stations. DMRC hed to bring a sea change in the culture through awareness campaigns to make them use the advance facilities offered in the metro. Numerous social campaigns to raise awareness on use of escalators, lifts, automatic fare collection (AFC) gates and usage of smart cards were carried out. For this, DMRC used highly engaging theatre arts such as nukkad

Nataks and puppet shows.

In the context of India, these measures taken were highly innovative. No other construction projects in the country had adopted such procedures ever before. This helped DMRC complete its phase – I of 65 kilometers of network 2 years and 9 months ahead of its schedule. Similarly, the phase – II network of 125 was completed five months ahead of the deadline. DMRC is about to complete the phase – III network soon. With this, DMRC proved to the world that such massive projects can be completed within the deadline without causing inconvenience to the public.
Unlike other public transport systems, the Delhi Metro is highly punctual. On average, 99 percent of the train trips are recorded on time and redefine the punctuality norms to 59 seconds. Currently, the Delhi Metro operates 4000 train trips every day from 6 AM to 11 PM with its 280 train sets. The trains are operated on average frequency of 2 to 3 minutes during peak hours of traffic.
Delhi Metro experiment shows that MRT system is capable of carrying large number of people from one point to another without occupying too much space for infrastructure. This system is the answer to future transport challenges that will emerge as the cities grow bigger. In future, we are going to see more successful metro projects like Delhi Metro

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